Is Gaming An Effective Way To Relieve Stress?

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Video games have been a favourite pastime for people of all ages, and for a good reason – they’re fun and engaging and provide a lot of positive feelings. Because of this, games are sometimes seen as a form of stress relief, sometimes to the point of being used as a way to escape. This article will discuss some of the reasons why video games can be a potent way to deal with stress and anxiety and improve your emotional health.


A good portion of the benefits that gaming can have on a person’s mental health can be attributed to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is released in the brain when it’s expecting a reward, and video games are full of opportunities for it to be secreted by stimulating the reward pathways.

For example, overcoming difficult tasks can create a rush, and there are also smaller and quick forms of gratification that help you keep pursuing these goals. Even though there are these kinds of elements put in the game specifically to encourage you to play more, dopamine is the sole reason why people experience a great deal of pleasure playing games, which results in feeling less stressed out. However, this is also one reason why people can start to feel addicted to video games as well.

Social Interaction

It’s rare for video games nowadays to not have some type of social features in them, and online play can certainly be a source of stress relief for people who love to play video games. Teamwork and cooperation are an essential part of many games and this is something that many players enjoy the most and look forward to each time, which helps them de-stress.

Video games once had a negative reputation for possibly making people more anti-social, but with the way things are now, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, some people feel that they can be more social while playing games than in person, where they might struggle to make friends or have a chronic issue such as social anxiety.

Cheating Kid playing video game with headset on likely a streamer, possibly playing to relieve stress


As mentioned earlier, games can sometimes be used as a means for escaping problems, and that’s because they allow people to take their mind off of things that are causing them issues. By becoming engrossed in a game’s story, immersed in its world, or scratching a competitive itch, people can notice their stress melt away and start feeling better about their mental health quite quickly.

However, the main issue that comes up with this is people using video games as a crutch and not confronting the source of their stress and anxiety. In these cases, gaming is just a temporary solution. Therefore, it’s important to find long-term coping skills, so that games can be one of many tools you have for improving mental health, rather than the only option.

How To Get Help

Stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues are concerns that often require the assistance of a professional, and those who are struggling should never hesitate to reach out for help. Counselling and therapy can offer people coping and problem-solving skills they need to overcome them, and finding help is as easy as signing into your favourite game.

MyTherapist allows people to connect to licensed professionals who can help guide you along the way so that you can see tangible, and long-term improvements to your mental health, so that you can live a happier and more fulfilling life. You can also enjoy free mental health-related articles that have been medically reviewed here:


Hopefully, by reading this article, you have a better understanding of why gaming can be a great way to relieve stress, but also learned about why it shouldn’t be the only solution as well as some of the pitfalls that it can have. Nonetheless, it will always be a fun way to pass the time, burn off some steam, and uplift your mood.

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This was a guest article written by Marie Miguel.

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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