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Reduce Stress by Playing Games and Improve Your Mental Health!


Game nights, in my family, have been around for as long as I can remember, and I will never forget all the great times we had and continue to have. The laughter, the conversation, the time away from the TV – it was a nice change of pace.

In this blog, I will discuss why playing games is not just a pastime for children: it can directly reduce stress, increase healthy brain activity and improve your mental well-being.  Whether it is a board game, card game, sport or a video game, the benefits are so far reaching that you cannot afford to miss out.  So, let’s talk about three of the biggest reasons why you should make sure to let loose and have fun by playing some games.

reduce stress

#1. Having Fun Reduces Stress, Creates a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind!

Let’s face it. Playing games is fun. It’s also distracting, but in a good way! It distracts from many of life’s challenges and keeps your focus on the moment. This leads to your body releasing lower levels of your stress hormone, cortisol, allowing your body to naturally relax and de-stress. You become distracted from your problems and are focused on the tasks at hand. You can then tap into positive emotions such as curiosity, optimism, and creativity.  When going the physical route and playing sports, your adrenaline is pumped, you become competitive and strive to be your best. Your physical body gets a workout, enhances performance, and increases stamina. You become more confident which leads to greater self-satisfaction.

reduce stress

Of course, during this activity, you are laughing, teasing, and listening. At the same time, you are seriously looking to outwit your opponent and become the winner. You are subconsciously improving brain function, developing critical thinking skills and enhancing memory.  

#2. You spend time with the people you love

Connecting with others, especially those you love, is more important than you might think. Social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and improve our immune systems. By neglecting our need to connect, we put our health at risk. Humans are social creatures, craving interaction and engagement, psychologically and physically.

reduce stress

When we have friends or family we can lean on, laugh with, cry with, and talk to, we are nourishing ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally.

It has even been shown that some positive effects of this type of activity can reduce stress, live a healthier life, enhance wellbeing, and even possibly provide for a longer life expectancy!

#3. Improves Your Life Skills

reduce stress

Game playing can play a significant role in developing life skills.  Playing a game, whether it is a sport, board or video game requires you to have a good skill set in handling the many challenges you might face. Critical thinking games exercise your mind, while physical games, your body. Both are important for living a healthy life. Here are 4 ways playing games can help develop skills that are important both in the workplace and in your personal lives.

1. Develop Good Communication Skills

To be able to work with others, share experiences and seek common objectives. This is critical to build and maintain solid relationships. Trust and empathy will follow. Teamwork requires good communication.

2. Enhance Critical Thinking

They train you how to think in logical ways to achieve a desired result.  What is the best path to follow?  How am I going to address that challenge?

reduce stress

3.  Become Resourceful

Games provide the ability to problem solve and see problems from many angles to achieve your goal in the best way possible. Game playing can help work out problems that may lead to real world solutions.

Finally, games always force you to adapt to new situations!

4. Adapting to New Situations

Games are never played the same way.  The best part of playing a game is that it is never played the same way. There is always a challenge. This teaches you the skill of quick thinking. How do I think on the fly? Great skill.

So, I hope you found this blog helpful in looking at how playing games is more than just a fun activity you do with friends or family.  Games teach life experiences and ways to deal with some of the everyday challenges we face.  Click on our YouTube Video on “How to Improve Your Mental Health Just by Playing Games!

Andy & Vinny DiLorenzo

About Us

As holistic dentists, we've recommended products and services that supported our patients’ health for decades. In experiencing our own health challenges from mercury toxicity, we worked closely with many natural, alternative, and integrative health practitioners who aided our recovery as well as our patients’. We built this site to provide you with a simple-to-use, comprehensive, informational, and functional resource for your physical, emotional, and spiritual health & well-being.

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