Why Playing Video Games Can Be a Healthy Way to Cope

people playing a video game

Recovery from an illness does not happen overnight, and healing is not always a linear process. There are times when a person might suffer from an unfortunate relapse, but that does not mean they are back to square one. Recovering and healing are already hard, so a person needs a support system and healthy outlets to channel their energy.

 

For older people, crocheting and painting are the ideal recovery hobbies. Meanwhile, there is gaming for younger people. The time when gaming is perceived to be something bad by the masses is over. Today, the world is gradually recognizing how supportive a gaming community can be and how eSports are already taking over the global stage. Therefore, what is so wrong for a troubled and recovering person to find solace in video games? It may be a distraction to some, but it is most definitely something that can help people recover from what they went through.

 

Here is how gaming can also be good for people suffering from depression and anxiety:

 

Gaming Is Something to Focus On

 

In a way, it is a distraction, but it can be a therapeutic one. When someone is playing, the mind becomes immersed into its own universe too. The same way it processes a book the person is reading, or even better because gaming improves motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

 

Playing games is somewhat a breath of fresh air for the person’s mind. It stops the same old thoughts from recurring, and it eases the person out of anxiety or any other triggers. With anxiety, a person is helped through different ways to highlight their five senses to remind them of what is real. Gaming can also be an excellent way to highlight human senses as some games can even exercise mental alertness.

 

It Helps a Person Break an Unhealthy Cycle

 

When a person has been struggling with a disorder for a long time, breaking the same unhealthy cycle is essential. For example, an eating disorder inpatient needs help with stabilizing their psychological health to change their thought pattern, while someone with depression needs to find a way out of isolation.

 

However, you cannot simply pull someone outside of his comfort zone before he is even ready. When a person starts to play video games and even mobile games, he will find himself in a team member position. This gives them the chance to socialize with other people again slowly. Sure, one can play for their own and on their own, but sooner or later, they will realize that some game objectives cannot be achieved without a team.

 

We have also mentioned the growing gaming community online. There are hundreds and thousands of gamers, enthusiasts, and eSports athletes over Reddit, Discord, and Facebook. These people talk to one another about gameplay. They support each other and challenge one another to become better at the game during some days. After all, what is gaming without a bit of challenge and competition? At the end of the day, it feels good to win.

 

father and son playing a game

It Helps Improve Moods

 

Following the point above about winning, it does feel good to win, especially for those who have been feeling like they lost in life already. Do you know the saying, “I could use a win?” They can use a win, too, and they can get these small wins when playing games. Even in a game like Animal Crossing, someone can feel like he had won when he successfully expanded his island. Although, winning is best felt when earned in competitive games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty.

 

Scientifically, playing games and winning increases a person’s endorphin and dopamine production. Gaming relieves a person of stress and pressure, and winning makes everything feel better. See? Two out of the three happy hormones can be produced by a good gaming experience. This leaves us to the last one, oxytocin. Unlike its two brothers, oxytocin involves romantic happiness provided by another person. Now that online dating has been socially accepted by many, it is not impossible for people to find companionship and love in gaming. That may be overreaching, but who knows?

 

Final Thoughts

 

Recovering from mental illnesses and other disorder is challenging, but it is already a step closer to healing. Thus, if you know someone who needs help and is using gaming as a way to cope, you can now understand why. Now that you know what they get from it, you can now offer better support to your friend or loved one.

 

 

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