Stop Meditating and Play Games if Your Want to Clear Your Mind
Psychological well-being is all the rage these days. Whether it’s the self-help book such as Mindfulness by Gill Hasson, which shows you how to battle anxiety, or nature providing an antidote to the stresses of life, there are multiple ways to stay mentally strong. However, as effective as meditation and the like can be, there’s arguably a better way to clear your mind and relax.
As surprising as it may sound, games are actually a great way to relax. In fact, research has shown that games can be more effective as a form of stress reduction than guided meditation. Building on previous results, researchers at Missouri Western State University found a stronger correlation between games and relaxation than sitting quietly.
“The results show that casual gaming can improve positive affect for mood more than meditation/guided relaxation and sitting quietly,” reads the 2015 paper.
Naturally, everyone will be drawn to different types of games. For some, immersive virtual reality will be their thing. For others, the rush of casino games such as slots will do the trick. Yet others will gravitate towards fighting games or RPGs. Whatever your vibe, there are certain features inherent in games that have a positive effect on us.
Practically, the data suggests there are three types of experience can lead to recovery. When you look at the types of games out there, you can see that many of them actually fit into one of the three experiences:
Psychological Detachment: As simple as it sounds, a break from the norm can do wonders for our stress levels. Online casino games are great for this. If you click here and read through Slotsia’s gaming reviews, you’ll see that a lot of these sites allow new customers to play for free. Through something known as no deposit bonuses, operators remove the stress of having to play for real money. Thanks to this, players can spin the latest slots, get away from reality for a few minutes and reset their minds.
Relaxation: Adrenaline-inducing games such as Fortnite might not be that relaxing, but there are options out there for those that want to de-stress. Titles such as Flower Reaction allow you to get into a flow state while trying to get through various levels. Of course, a game where you to create a chain reaction of blooming flowers isn’t going to have the same status as something like Super Mario Bros’ latest instalment. However, it does give you the ability to achieve a type of inner zen, which is a fantastic way to reduce stress.
Mastery Experiences: The final way games can help you relax and de-stress is by giving you the opportunity to master something. In simple terms, mastery experiences are situations where you acquire new skills and get a sense of accomplishment. This is something almost every gamer will have experienced – and in fact, it is the basis of “gamification”, in which video game-style achievements, experience points and even skills and leader boards are applied to non-gaming setting. It doesn’t matter what game it is; if you can complete it, there’s an undeniable sense of achievement.
What’s more, there are some very real skills you can master through gaming. Take a game such as Call of Duty. In this game, skills such as tactics, timing, reactions and logic are all hugely important. Therefore, if you can become a top Call of Duty player, there’s a real sense of accomplishment. That, above almost all else, is why games are great for your mind. As well as helping you to escape the real world and relax, they can give you a sense of empowerment. When you’ve got that, you’ll feel much more equipped to tackle stressful situations and, in turn, relax.