As of 2020, nearly half of the world’s population plays video games and even more people play board games, card games, and puzzles. There are countless reasons why people play them, with some doing it for fun, others to destress, and many more using them socialise with friends.
With the mass adoption of smartphones and tablets, gaming has become more widespread over the last decade. Besides traditional console and PC games, casual games have really taken off, particularly among older demographics.
Online casinos have also seen a huge rise in popularity, particularly with many sites offering free spins and other no deposit promotions. All in all, it’s well established that playing games can offer a number of benefits, but can it actually make you feel more positive?
Games Can Help You Relax
Researchers in the United States have found that more than half of all gamers play their favourite titles help them relax and unwind. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since playing games requires you to concentrate, helping you to take your mind off the stresses of the day.
Playing games of all kinds has also been found to cause your body to release dopamine, the hormone responsible for feelings of pleasure. We get the biggest release when we win whatever game it is that we’re playing, though winning isn’t always necessary.
Further research has also shown that these benefits can continue even when we’re not playing. Thinking about a game we have been enjoying can trigger memories of the good times, leading to the release of another hormone called serotonin which is linked to positive emotions.
Games Can Help You Learn
We often think positively when we’re working on ourselves, particularly since learning new skills can help us achieve the “self-actualisation” level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
There are, of course, many ways to learn new skills but playing games has to be one of the most fun. Many researchers have also found that games can make us better learners. If you’ve ever learned a foreign language, your teacher will almost certainly have had you playing games. This is because memory games and activities that present practical ways to use your new vocabulary can make you more likely to remember the words later.
Games can also improve your arithmetical skills, your strategic thinking, and your ability to focus and concentrate, and even boost your motor skills. As you notice improvements in these areas, you’ll be left feeling positive about your learning.
These are just two of the reasons why playing games can help you to feel positive. Even if you don’t need to relax and you’re not looking to learn anything new, playing games is fun, which on its own will help you feel more positive.