Video Games

Good or Bad for Our Mental Health?

Eat right, exercise, manage your stress, and learn positive thinking patterns: those are time-proven, effective strategies for improving your mental health. Smartphones allow us to have tools at our fingertips and can help make these behaviors easier and more fun. Many apps can connect you to other people working toward the same goal, giving you much-needed social support and accountability. But there’s another, more surprising way you can use your smartphone for better mental health: play more video games. They don’t even have to be “good for you” or “special healthy” video games. According to an East Carolina University study, playing games (such as the popular smartphone games Bejeweled® or Bookworm®) for 30 minutes per day can help alleviate clinical depression and anxiety at levels that rival the effectiveness of medication. There is also evidence that video games aren’t just good for young people, but that continuing to play (or starting a new habit) in older years actually promotes a more positive aging experience and helps alleviate depression in older adults. Should you spend all day on your smartphone or playing video games? Probably not. As with most things in life, strive for moderation and balance: a little bit can be good, but too much is a problem!

Courtesy of EachMindMatters.org