The modern world is a stressful place. Even the most organized and diligent woman can find themselves feeling stressed and tired. If this sounds like you, video games could be the perfect tool for relieving stress.
Video Games and Mindfulness
Mindfulness refers to multiple interconnected techniques designed to enable practitioners to maintain a greater awareness of themselves and the world around them. There are now numerous studies that prove the psychological benefits of mindfulness, so we know that it works. But when most people think of mindfulness, they don’t associate it with video games. In fact, in many people’s minds, video games are the antithesis of mindfulness. Some people view videogames as being noisy and loud, but this isn’t always the case.
Mindfulness is something that is supposed to be practicable wherever you might be. It doesn’t matter whether you are meditating or playing Assassin’s Creed; you can still practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about being in the zone. It’s about immersing yourself in what you are doing, and being aware of everything that is going on. Achieving this is difficult at first, but after some practice, entering into a state of mindfulness becomes second nature, and you will be able to do it without thinking.
There is growing evidence that certain mobile apps could be very effective at helping users to practice mindfulness. The market for games that have been specially designed for this from the ground up has been growing for some time now.
But even if your games are designed specifically for improving mindfulness, any game that grabs your attention and engages you fully can be effective at helping you to reduce stress.
Picking the Right Games
If you are entirely new to the world of video games, it can be hard to know where to begin. There are thousands of games for you to choose from, and not only does the quality vary wildly, but the videogames industry is uniquely hostile to newcomers. Working out exactly what to buy isn’t easy if you are new to gaming. While games themselves aren’t gendered products, mainstream video game marketing mostly targets a male audience over a female audience. Because of this, there are specific barriers for women who are trying to take up the hobby.
Of course, women can enjoy a military shooter game like Call of Duty just as much as a male gamer can. But these sorts of male-dominated games can be a challenging environment, especially when playing online. If you want to play Call of Duty, do it! However, there are other games, better games, for you to explore. Don’t limit yourself just to the big names.
As this article explains, the relationship between stress and video games isn’t quite how most people imagine it. Some video games are more stressful than others, and playing a tense, horror title probably isn’t the best choice for unwinding and relaxing.
The best games for relaxing and destressing are the games that you can get lost in. Just like everyone has their own taste in movies and books, everyone escapes into video games in different ways. According to at least one study, puzzle games are the most popular genre amongst women. Puzzle games are excellent for reducing stress because they require you to focus on the puzzle at hand, taking your mind off whatever might be stressing you out.
Similarly, lots of women find that strategy games are useful for the same reason. A strategy game requires you to think and engage. You can’t just hammer buttons in response to visual cues when you are playing a strategy title.
If you aren’t sure what your preferred genre of game is, then we would suggest you hop onto YouTube or Twitch and watch people playing some different games. It shouldn’t take you long to hone in on a couple of genres to explore.
See Yourself Improving Over Time
It is hard to put a price on confidence. For many people, stress goes hand in hand with a lack of self-esteem. Facing a challenge that feels insurmountable can make what should be manageable situations much more challenging than they need to be. For people who spend much of their lives working, coming up against a brick wall at work can sap your self-esteem. If you don’t have anything outside of work to give you a confidence boost, it can be hard to counteract this lack of confidence.
Video games are a great solution because they demand particular skills from the player. The more that you play the games, the more you will develop these skills. It can be incredibly satisfying to come up against an in-game challenge that seems insurmountable and then slowly improve your own abilities until you can overcome it. Just because this achievement takes place digitally, that doesn’t make it any less effective at boosting your self-esteem.
Some games are renowned for their steep learning curve – Dark Souls being the most obvious example. These are the kind of games that will kick your butt over and over again until you have mastered the gameplay. While these games are not to everyone’s taste, they are an excellent option for anyone who is looking for a mountain to climb.
Dopamine Is Dopamine
Dopamine is the brain’s pleasure chemical. When dopamine is released, we feel good. More importantly, when dopamine is released, our brains learn to repeat the behavior. This dopamine release is why videogames have proven to be so addictive for some people.
Dopamine is also an excellent chemical for relaxing. The more dopamine in your system, the happier you will feel. If you can find a game that you can get lost in and enjoy playing, you can give yourself a decent dopamine boost.
Video games are a fantastic way to destress. If you are new to the world of video games, it might take you a while to find your feet. However, if you need something to help you destress, video games are one of the best options.