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Can Playing Video Games Limit Stress And Anxiety?

 


     Kids love to come home, throw their bookbag on the floor and get right to playing video games. No one ever stops to think about the implications of that. Kids love to meet and hang out with their friends and video games are a great way to do that, so why judge kids about what they do after a long day of school? After school is when kids should be able to hang out with their friends and enjoy themselves, without being told to be quiet or pay attention in class. Playing video games is a great method that kids could use to de-stress after a long day.

       Many adults see video games as a mindless affair but they should see it as a way of self care, especially after a long day of school and extracurricular activities. Playing video games can be a healthy way to clear the mind from stress, as it was found that gaming results in the release of dopamine. Think of it as equivalent to your mid-day nap or your favorite show that you just HAVE to catch up on. Gaming offers so many mental benefits that many people are unaware of. Completing a video game could make someone feel accomplished, particularly when school or work may not be going so well for them. 

        Going home with a desire to make more progress in your game could work as motivation for a student to finish their school work. Most kids know that they aren’t allowed to play if they are failing their classes. Therefore, they will have a positive motivation towards finishing their schoolwork and other responsibilities such as chores and studying. However this may not always be a positive thing for everyone.  

       Studies have shown that video games can become a problem when someone always uses video games as a source to release stress. In 2018, The World Health Organization classified gaming disorder as a mental health disorder, which is evidence that always relying on video games as a means for stress relief is unhealthy. In 2011, it was found that a gaming disorder could later cause symptoms of other disorders, such as ADHD and depression. To help this, parents should be communicating with their children more and making sure their mental health is well cared for. A good way to approach this would be to ask the student/child why they enjoy playing the games that they do or what makes the game so special to them. Positive communication is more helpful to them than you think. Your child will definitely appreciate you showing how open-minded and understanding you are. 

        Remember to always have sympathy for their own personal stress related problems when communicating with them. It might even help to do some research into the games, or ask them to play for a bit while you watch. In the end, we should all recognize that video games can be beneficial before they become harmful.

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Sources: Playing video games to cope with anxiety may increase risk for addiction • News Service • (iastate.edu)


Do Video Games Reduce Stress? (Backed by Research) | Healthy Gamer


Video Games and Stress: How Stress Appraisals and Game Content Affect Cardiovascular and Emotion Outcomes - PMC (nih.gov)


Addictive behaviours: Gaming disorder (who.int)


ADHD and Video Games (healthline.com)

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