Best Stress Relief Video Games
Can Video Games Help Reduce Stress?
Stress is something everyone experiences and it commonly results in feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger, fear and or frustration. Studies show that some video games can be used as effective coping mechanisms.
1) Sadness is an emotional pain associated with, or characterized by, feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment and sorrow.
2) Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
3) Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. According to psychologists, the best way for people to deal with fear is to confront the source of the emotion or the emotion itself.
4) Frustration is the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something.
5) Anger is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to threats and other forms of provocation.
To help you cope with these emotions, here are several games for you which are available across PC and consoles.
1) Top 5 Games to Fight Against Sadness
Fall Guys Ultimate Knockout
Fall guys is a one of the best games for fighting against sadness because it contains many of the therapeutic components to lift the spirits of anyone. Fall Guys has high-spirited ambient sounds, it is colourful and filled with funny quirky customizable characters that come together to create a joyful gaming experience.
It is almost impossible to keep a straight face while playing Gang Beasts simply because of the nature of the game. It has the perfect combination of fun, competitive and wacky gameplay. The game doesn’t take itself seriously which makes it perfect for erasing sadness.
Overcooked 2 is a masterpiece in its own right. If you are sad, grab a group of friends and hop in to watch your frown transform into a smile then a grin. Overcooked 2 offers a really fun gameplay experience filled with laughter and glee for all.
Splatoon 2 and a cheerful mood go hand in hand. It has a really simple concept and gameplay that all but tracts from the delightful art style and stunning colour combination. Beyond that is some very addicting competitive and cooperative gameplay that is so fun you might even forget that you were ever sad in the first place.
Super Mario Party
Super Mario Party can be your one stop destination for all out fun and excitement which is exactly what you need if you are suffering from sadness. Super Mario Party offers a variety of game modes all which are fun and fully capable of lifting your spirits.
2) Top 5 Games to Fight Against Anxiety
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is one of the best games against anxiety for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is how much control and freedom the game offers. In the game, you control the outcome of your own story and it is very much free spirited and low risk.
The Sims 4
If you are struggling with anxiety, this is the perfect game for you. It is a social simulation game with a slow pace and high spirited gameplay. You dictate the flow of the game and manage your interactions in a safe space that is free of anything traumatic or troubling.
In Minecraft, you get to play in any way you like as it has mods and game modes to suit everyone. You have creative control over all aspects of the game which makes it ideal for fighting against anxiety. For as long as you control the variables, there is nothing to fear or be on edge about.
Abzu is one of the most visually stunning games out there. It is good for anyone struggling with anxiety because there are no strict goals, hazardous conditions or competitions in it. You simply explore and observe a beautiful and immersive aquatic world.
The game literally allows you to play as anything in the universe, even the smallest particles. Everything is all about exploring a universe without restrictions or boundaries. If you are feeling anxious and tense, you can hop into the world of everything where there are no worries, just you as… everything.
3) Top 5 Games to Fight Against Fear
Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight is one of the best games for overcoming fear because while playing as a survivor, players are constantly fearful for their lives. Soon you will become desensitized and possibly less fearful in general.
Doom Eternal is one of the better games for helping people overcome fears. The game features many monsters and horrors that are frightening initially. However, these monsters become less frightening once you realize there is no reason to fear them if you know how to beat them. This offers a life lesson to players and they soon understand that in life and fears can be beaten with understanding.
Resident Evil 2 Remake
This is one of the games that will help players deal with fear by overexposing them to fearful circumstances. This game forces players confront, evade and or conquer fearsome creatures. You beat Resident Evil 2 by remaining functional in scary situations and this too can be applied to real life situations.
Remnant: From the Ashes
This game can be both scary and challenging until you have understood the enemies and are adequately armed and prepared to face them. The life lesson to take from this game is that fear can be overcome through learning and preparation.
Dying Light places you in a post-apocalyptic environment with extreme conditions that can make real world problems seem small. If you can survive in Dying Light you feel like you can survive anything. Essentially, the confidence gained through playing the game can help you deal with fears in real life.
4) Top 5 Games to Fight Against Frustration
Stardew valley is one of the best games to play if you are frustrated as there is no set win condition. There are just tasks available for you to complete and once they are complete you move on to another. This lessens the possibility of frustration and provides mundane tasks which keep your mind relaxed.
flOw is an ideal game to help anyone cope with frustration because of its simplicity and beautiful atmosphere. It is almost more like a therapeutic exercise than a game. If you are frustrated, it is designed to calm you down and keep you playing until you are ready to tackle the world again.
The artstyle of the game alone can be regarded as a form of therapy. The game is beautiful and with soothing ambient sounds and background music which is a good combination for fighting frustration. Just sit back and feel the tension fade as the story unfolds.
There is just something very satisfying about playing Donut County. It is hard to remain frustrated while playing because of how unexplainably good it feels playing as a literal hole. Hop in a feel your frustration levels fall much like the objects you manipulate in Donut County.
House Flipper is just one of those games that is oddly addictive. Arguably, the addiction comes from the satisfaction of problem solving. Its slow-paced satisfying gameplay makes it ideal for ridding you of frustration.
5) Top 5 Games to Fight Against Anger
Grand Theft Auto 5
Grand Theft Auto 5 presents a safe space for you to express yourself which makes it one of the best games for expressing anger and ridding yourself of any rage that might be present as a result of anger.
It can be argued that no game makes players feel any close to being a superhero. This makes Marvel’s Avengers one of the best games for releasing anger because you get to take it out on your enemies by giving them a proper superhero beatdown.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare presents players with a battlefield perfect for releasing anger. However, if you wish to win you are now forced to control and redirect that anger appropriately. This can be a very helpful lesson for dealing with anger in real life as it is always beneficial to know how to control and channel that anger into something productive.
Red Dead Redemption 2
You can deal with anger in two ways in the game; you can suppress the rage by going on a long peaceful ride on your horse or you can release that anger by dispatching your enemies through gunblazing altercations. Either way, you can bring your rage to Red Dead Redemption 2 and handle it as you see fit.
Sea of Thieves
Though simulated, the sea in the game possesses a similar calming effect to the seas in real life. This coupled with the long journeys to and fro presents the perfect conditions for reflecting and relaxing. However, if you wish to release the anger instead, there are rivaling ships to combat, plunder and sink.
Video games have proven to be one of the better coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. However, Video games are not solutions to the mental health issues and they are certainly not guaranteed for permanent stress relief. Therefore, video games should be used as coping mechanisms in moderation because the short term positive effects may cause players to build up a level of dependency and even addiction. It is recommended that players dealing with mental health issues seek professional assistance or treatment.