Can Video Games Help with Mental Health?
Discovery Place Science
How have you been mindful lately? For some of us, it’s been through video games. Video games can be a useful tool in helping people be more mindful by creating a flow state, also known as being in the zone. Being in a flow state we become fully absorbed in one activity, which can lead to mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a heightened awareness of the present moment—including thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations, without judging them to be good or bad. So, how can video games benefit our mental health?
According to an article published in JMIR Mental Health, adults can benefit from playing short sessions of video games periodically to reduce anxiety and stress. One of the most promising genres of games to help release some stresses are called exergames, which incorporate exercise into gameplay.
Although video games can have great benefits, everything must be taken in moderation to help avoid conditions such as gaming disorder. According to the World Health Organization, this condition is characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities.
By incorporating mindfulness in our choices, we can help create a good relationship with video games—and use them as a tool to help us relax after a long day. So next time you’re looking for a way to relax, why not pick up your favorite game for a little bit?