How can mobile games help you to overcome mental health challenges? In tis article we answer this question in detail.
It’s a fact that gaming is the biggest entertainment industry in the world, with mobile gaming accounting for the largest share of the global gaming market. The rise of mobile apps entailed a high demand for mobile application development services. To date, one in four apps on the App Store and Google Play is a game. With over 2.4 billion users, the mobile gaming sector stands at $63.2 billion.
The popularity of mobile games is above all tied to their exclusive ability to catch the player’s attention and help them escape from reality. They are a good distraction that lots of people rely on to take their minds off. Despite a common misbelief that gaming has a negative effect on the player’s health, more and more experts now talk of gaming as a positive phenomenon.
The reasons below explain how games can be used to promote recovery from mental disorders.
1. Anti-stress activity
Today’s hectic lifestyle causes social anxiety that affects people with poor work-life balance. After a hard workday, many fail to take time for themselves and afford one hour of distracting activities. Talking to friends or family is always pleasant but yet not enough at times to de-stress after work.
Mobile games, in turn, can perfectly function as an excellent tool to let your mind shift from thinking over daily problems to enjoying something that does not put pressure on you. Research shows that the use of mobile gaming leads to a decrease in stress levels and therefore is believed to help all people facing work anxiety.
2. Belonging to a like-minded community
Loneliness is the twenty-first-century malaise. Although social media offers an abundance of opportunities to build new connections, many people still struggle with finding a good company. The feeling of loneliness is as harmful as physical illnesses as it may result in more grave mental health conditions.
As such, online mobile games can be a sound solution to get past loneliness because many of them are run on platforms where gamers are free to interact with each other. Multiplayer mobile games can serve as ideal communication channels through which lots of users can find like-minded people and expand their social circle.
3. Becoming more social
Being an introvert is not a bad thing, but it might be challenging for them to feel comfortable in social situations. By playing multiplayer games online, gamers have a chance to develop their communication skills through social engagement and cooperation.
This type of environment, though virtual, still helps introverted players become more open to others and get rid of their phobias and shyness. Besides, mobile gaming is an impetus for developing teamwork skills since games often put players in the circumstances where they need to collaborate and come up with common solutions.
4. Therapy for clinical depression
Another mental health problem to be alleviated through mobile gaming is clinical depression. Based on statistics, the individuals aged 12 to 25 are more vulnerable to depression than any other age group, but it is not easy to come with effective treatment for them as medicines are the least desirable means for young adults.
Mobile games, however, are viewed as a good alternative to fight depression naturally and without relying on drugs. Some in-game experiences are meant to have a relieving effect on players and trigger stress recovery. By playing relevant mobile games, gamers can reconsider their behavior and thinking patterns and change their outlook on life, which eventually will entail positive changes in their emotional health.
5. Meditation technique
Mobile games are not beneficial only to people suffering from mental health challenges. They are equally a strong preventive measure to benefit all people who strive to look after mental health and manage their emotions smartly. Plenty of games are designed with a view to assisting players in coping with their negative feelings and thoughts. They do not have to be violent or aggressive.
At times, simple arcade games prove effective in managing anxiety or stress. By doing repetitive tasks, a player feels relaxed as they are not expected to pursue a goal but can fail an infinite number of times without feeling guilty. This opportunity to fail is totally opposite to what people usually experience in reality. Therefore, the difference in perceiving virtual and real-life worlds is what helps gamers quite their mind and achieve a positive mindset.
6. Improvements to cognitive abilities
The appeal of mobile gaming is also linked to its favorable impact on the player’s cognitive skills. In particular, games are said to strengthen concentration and improve attention. By playing games that require increased attention, the gamer learns how to make their brain focus on the right things. This ability is paramount to real-life challenges and solutions.
Similarly, mobile gaming helps to develop motor skills by inciting the user to quickly react to the movement of objects popping up on their mobile screen. Thus, mobile games can be a useful tool to train the brain and improve their mental focus.
7. Source of happiness
At last, mobile games just make people happy. Although the goals and challenges provided in gameplay are imaginary and invented, their fulfillment is no less satisfactory than what people experience when they succeed in reality. The brain releases dopamine that boosts resistance to social anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. This happiness hormone produced during games helps players feel pleased and cheerful by the end of gameplay.
What games help to recover from mental health challenges?
Many specialists stand for non-violent games only because supposedly there is a link between violent games and real-life aggression. In fact, there is no solid study proving that all violent games have a detrimental effect on the gamer’s psyche. The best genre of game is always the one fitting the user’s preferences most of all. There is no standard way of ranking what games are more or less desirable for people trying to cope with mental health problems.
The choice is defined by cultural background and game development trends in the player’s geographical location. As a result, one game will have a different impact on gamers living in South Africa and the US. The most reasonable approach here is to opt for engaging, distracting, and captivating games that make you feel excited and less burdened during the gameplay.
How to stay mentally healthy?
Mobile gaming is one of the common ways to maintain good mental health, but there are some more important things to do on a daily basis. Good nutrition, regular exercise, and social life are three main conditions for improving your mental wellbeing and living a happy life. Alongside captivating mobile games, these habits will help you stay mentally strong and invulnerable to stress and all kinds of negative emotions.
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