Does Playing with Your Xbox 360 Help Relieve Stress

Much of what has been studied about the effects of video games have been negative.  A lot of the studies have blamed video games for teaching children violence, disrupting them from their studies and other tasks. Other studies have indicated that video games reduce the attention span of children.

A lot of this negativity has changed as more women embrace video gaming. It is no longer a teenagers thing. The creation of games of different challenge and mental ability levels has opened up this world of video gaming to people of all age groups, with positive outcomes.

Women GamingImage Source: Flickr

Recent studies that have focused on the positive effects of playing video games have discovered surprising results. Playing video games has come to be associated with stress relief, reduced depression and general ‘feel good’ feelings.

A 2010 study conducted by Texas A&M revealed that playing men and women who incorporated playing violent video games as part of their lives developed mental abilities to cope with stress, are less depressed and rarely become hostile in stressful situations.

Findings of this research even suggested that video games should be incorporated in therapy to help people find a way of coping with stressful situations in their daily lives. Some individuals who play video games find that skills developed during the game help them deal with stressful situations away from the video game. They also have a more positive outlook towards life.

Research suggests that if you make a conscious decision to play video games after work, you are likely to experience faster recovery from stress and fatigue and that you will develop better-coping skills in similar situations in the future.

Video games have proved to have beneficial effects on the human brain contrary to popular belief. Both men and women who serve or have served in the US Armed Forces have expressed their use of video games as a way of relieving stress and dealing with stress-related pathologies.

This study revealed that more than half of military men and women found the escapism and diversion found in video games to be helpful in coping with job-related stress.

Children also use video games as a way of dealing with difficult feelings like anger and stress.

Some games on Xbox 360 and Xbox One have shown to have positive effects on the player. Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved has been associated with invoking relaxing and restful feelings. Disney Fantasia is a motion game where players use their hands to conduct music.

Minecraft creative mode is also an excellent stress buster as it does not involve winning or losing. GTA III or IV, Saints Row the Third, Orcs Must Die, Forza Horizon, are some of the games that many users find useful in relieving stress.

How Can You Use Video Games to Relieve Stress?

GamerPlaying with Friends

A game with friends prompts positive feelings. Games designed for dual play with friends as teammates or enemies create a sense of closeness and positive attitudes among friends. Hanging out with friends, doing something that you love is very relaxing in itself.

Mastering Different Levels

Clearing one level after another gives a sense of achievement which can boost your esteem. Beating your fiercest opponent is likely to provide you with a great feeling of accomplishment.

The ability to master a level without cheating increases faith in your abilities. That sense of achievement can quickly clear all the stress that had accumulated during the day.

Playing for a Short Time Every day

Taking time from work or school assignments to play your favorite video game can easily rejuvenate you. Clearing a level in a game gives you a sense of accomplishment and renewed vigor.

Your ability to set timelines and respect them is essential. If you can control the amount of time to spend on your game, without getting distracted from your other activities, then playing video games is a good break from work.

You’d be glad to know that there’s an emulator for Xbox 360 which can be used to enjoy the console’s games on PC. Find out more about it here.

Conclusion

The positive effects of playing video games are not beneficial to the player alone. These benefits tend to trickle down to other people that the player is interacting with. This is because a happy, relaxed person is likely to be helpful and cheerful towards others.

Before you ditch your Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent, consider that it could be your way of escape from reality and a great way to revamp your energy levels.

Do you play games to release stress and escape from reality?  Go to the comments section and add your favorite game to our list.

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