There are many mental health benefits to online gaming. Read this post to learn more about how to use online gaming for self-care and entertainment.
Here’s an unpopular opinion: online gaming can be an excellent form of self-care when used correctly and in moderation. You might not know this, but I’m an avid gamer. Whenever negative emotions such as anger and anxiety start to stir, I love to focus my mind on different online challenges, classic games, or RPG (role-playing games) worlds.
Playing games helps me to unwind, turn off my working brain,’ and to give my mind a break from reality. So consider this your sign if you’re looking for a reason to turn on your gaming console, sign into your favorite gaming site, or play some free online games.
When used moderately, online gaming can do wonders to your psyche, mental health, emotional health, and social battery. So, here are four fun reasons to use online gaming for self-care.
Online Gaming For Self-Care
Gives You A Sense Of Accomplishment & Pride
One of the best things about online gaming is the sense of accomplishment and pride you get for winning, beating, or overcoming a level or in-game challenge. When you complete a level or achieve a high score, you are given a sense of satisfaction that can be hard to come by.
In moderate amounts, gaming can give you the right amount of accomplishment needed to overcome specific mental and critical thinking barriers. For example, playing free online strategy and classic games such as Solitaire, Mahjong, and Crosswords have improved my mood and self-esteem.
Each time I beat the timer or solve the puzzle correctly, I feel like I did something good for the day. Sometimes, we all need that sense of accomplishment to improve our day.
It’s Mentally Relaxing
A lot of people play games because it’s mentally relaxing. After a long day of work, I love turning on my console and getting lost in the various quests and worlds on my console. Your brain needs a break from processing and filtering information.
Online games can give your brain a break it needs to replenish. According to an article from the Cleveland Clinic, “Research has found that taking breaks can improve your mood, boost your performance and increase your ability to concentrate and pay attention.” This means that your brain needs to take adequate rest to function correctly. Online games minimize mental fatigue and boost your overall well-being.
Helps You Release Negative Energy
Have you ever had a rough day at work and decided to play graphic games such as Call of Duty or GTA? I have. When you have extreme pent-up emotions such as anger and anxiety, it can be challenging to unwind at the end of the day.
Sometimes playing violent games releases negative energy by reducing feelings of depression and aggression. On the other hand, some violent games, such as DOOM, Modern Warfare, Tekken, etc., may help people work through their frustrations with real life and calm down without increasing aggressive behaviors in real life.
People who suffer from a gaming addiction experience increased aggression, depression, and other mental health illnesses. Therefore, it’s essential to speak to a mental health professional or specialist if you or a loved one has a compulsive or uncontrolled use of games that causes problems in other areas of the person’s life to please seek help.
It’s A Great Way To Practice Intellectual Self-Care
Not all games healthily engage the brain. However, specific games such as Sudoku, Solitaire, Crosswords, and Jigsaw Puzzles help the brain to stay actively involved while expanding its critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Intellectual self-care is one of the eight dimensions of self-care that a person must focus on. It’s about cultivating a healthy mindset by expanding your inner knowledge. Under this dimension, you are responsible for personal growth by educating and engaging in new things.
Your brain needs as much self-care as your heart and mind. Intellectual self-care encourages us to engage in creative and mentally stimulating activities, requiring lifelong learning and curiosity.
What More Would You Want From Online Gaming?
Tetris, Streetfighter, Spiderman, Game Shows,.etc, can transport you to new worlds, times, and historical events. Online games are so much fun and have many health benefits, including the ones I mentioned above.
There is still a lot of research surrounding the effects of gaming on the brain, mind, and physical body. But, one thing is for sure: playing online games for too long can negatively affect your overall well-being. These effects include strained eyes, headaches/migraines, increased aggression, restlessness, and insomnia.
However, with the proper moderation, online gaming can help you to create additional social connections, improve your relationships, expand your brain’s knowledge, and apply specific critical thinking skills.
What are your thoughts on using online gaming for self-care? Let me know in the comments.