Video games can be fun and help us destress after a long day at work. In fact, there are several mental health benefits of video games. However, sometimes they can be the source of anger. That’s not fun, but there are things you can do to reduce anger and increase enjoyment when you are gaming.
However, if you find that you get irrationally angry at video games all the time, or if the anger seeps into other parts of your life, then you may do best if you speak to a mental health professional.
You can find a qualified therapist at BetterHelp who can help you cope and learn methods to reduce your stress levels. Plus, they have a ton of other beneficial resources that you may find useful.
So, what are the mental health benefits of video games and why do they sometimes cause anger levels to rise? And what can you do about it?
While every video game may offer different results, there is research that shows that playing video games may help to improve symptoms associated with depression. Playing video games could help you find interest in activities that you may have lost due to depression and can also help you fight against isolation by connecting you with other people.
Social interaction is crucial for mental health and wellbeing. Video games are incredibly popular and there are tons of communities that you can be a part of. While multiplayer games obviously add interaction with others, a single-player game also offers the ability to connect to other people who are also interacting with the particular component or level of the game.
Video games may also be a positive form of escape or distraction from stressful situations or negative emotions. This could help you to reduce stress and improve your mood in a healthy way.
Video games can help us to reduce symptoms of anxiety and can even bring joy into your life. Playing games is a part of the human experience that could help you boost your mood and regulate your emotions.
Video games have the potential to make people angry. You may even destroy your computer, controller, or other property if you get mad enough. However, this doesn’t necessarily happen often or even at all with some people.
Part of the reason that video games can make us angry is that gaming can be a highly emotional experience. We may be invested in the game so that our emotions become attached to the success or failures in the virtual world. This can cause great joy when we accomplish greatness or anger or grief when we lose.
In addition, our frustration with games could stem from our frustration with real-life problems that we are experiencing. For example, we could be dealing with stress at work or have frustration with a romantic partner that we have yet to address. When we play video games, our emotions about those situations may come out.
Finally, video games may cause us to suppress negative emotions. Over time, these suppressed emotions may build up. Then, when we get frustrated at the game, we may let all these emotions out at once causing rage and extreme reactions that may not seem normal compared to the situation. Video games can be a potential outlet for those emotions and give us a healthy way to vent, but it still is not good to suppress emotions and refuse to address them in the real world.
One of the best things you can do to reduce your anger at video games is to prepare in advance. When you are playing a game, you want it to go as planned and can actually expect to win or for everything to go right. However, it does not always work out that way.
If you at least plan ahead for the game to go wrong, whether that means you lose or your friends do not show up to play at all on a given evening, then you will have a better emotional response to the frustration or dashed hopes.
Being prepared also means saving a game often. I am sure you have experienced a crash in a computer or video game system before you saved it, and it was probably a frustrating experience. Saving often makes this unlikely scenario more manageable, even if it still angers you.
Finally, go in prepared with the correct frame of mind. To have fun and enjoy the experience for what it is. Try to remain engaged without letting the frustrations that you may experience seep into the other areas of your life.
Another thing you can do is get away from the video gaming experience when you feel yourself getting angry. This also means that you have to recognize the symptoms of your anger. These symptoms could be increased heart rate, distressing thoughts, excessive energy, or any other feelings you get when you begin to become angered.
Getting away for 15 minutes or longer can help you relax and calm down. Depending on the situation, you may even want to get away for an entire day. This allows you to put the video games into perspective and see the positivity and negativity clearly from a distance.
Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly can do wonders for your emotions and mood. This can be great for preventing angry responses to unexpected experiences while you are playing video games.
You can also keep the gaming area clean and comfortable to make it more of a relaxing experience for you and your friends. Make sure the lights are not too bright or too dim and that you have a comfortable place to sit without being too close or too far from the screen.
Finally, another aspect of self-care is stress management. You could learn mindfulness meditation or use breathing techniques to destress and reduce anger. This can even make the gaming experience more enjoyable and allow you to alter your perspective towards positivity.
It is also important to learn how to identify triggers so that you can either avoid them or be able to prepare when they enter into your gaming experience. Some potential triggers could be when someone leaves the game before it is finished, when they use a glitch to win, or when they say something specific to you while you are gaming. Certain levels or situations in games could also be triggers.
Video gaming can be a beneficial hobby, but it can also be frustrating at times. In order to have fun playing games, it is important to prepare for an anger response and to respond to frustrating or anger-evoking situations in a healthy way. Then, you can continue to play video games without negativity.