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Video Gaming as a Mental Break

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All work and no play makes—well, Jack less healthy and productive. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s absolutely true; breaks are essential for mental and physical health. And one of the best ways to take a truly relaxing break is by video gaming! Thankfully, this is easier than ever, thanks to the rise of mobile games and computer-based jobs. 

Curious exactly how playing video games as a mental break can help you be more successful? Dive into some of the biggest reasons below—and see how fun and useful mental breaks can be.

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Gaming Stations At Work Help Get the Job Done

Unfortunately, gamers get a bad rep as lazy, unfocused or unambitious. But in reality, video games can help you be the exact opposite. When you take full mental breaks—where you completely mentally step away from work, like when your game—your productivity can actually increase. Not only that, breaks can prevent exhaustion, increase creativity and decrease burnout. Because of this, more businesses are choosing to have gaming stations in the office.

But corporations aren’t the only ones using gaming stations in unique areas to relax workers. Employees, freelancers, and entrepreneurs are taking it upon themselves to game wherever they most need it. For example, this trucker installed a gaming pc in his big rig so that he can take fun breaks on the road.

 

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Remote Workers Can Use Games to Connect With Others

Thanks to the internet, more jobs can be done remotely, meaning people can work from home—or even travel the world. While this offers many benefits (avoiding commutes, flexibility for parents, more personal freedom), loneliness and depression can be a downside. It can be easy to imagine video games would only add to this isolation, they can actually encourage camaraderie. Many online multiplayer games foster a strong sense of community, teamwork and friendship. In fact, an impressive 34% of online gamers say those building relationships is their favourite part of gaming.

A remote or isolated worker can take advantage of this by playing socially-minded games during their mental breaks. Not only will they refresh their minds, but they’ll also connect with others and add fun, meaningful social interaction to their day. And this can help coworkers bond and be more productive as well. One study found that when coworkers played games together for 45 minutes, their productivity increased by up to 20%. This is a productivity-boosting and relaxing way to bond (and is way more fun than meeting at the water cooler).

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Your Video Gaming Station Can Be Your Sanctuary

If you feel like stress at work is worse now, you’re not at all wrong. It turns out workplace stress has been increasing 20% over the last 30 years. This isn’t a small issue at all. In fact, stress at work can increase the risk of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and psychological issues. This means it’s more important than ever to relax and truly care for yourself during mental breaks.

Thankfully, your video game setup (often called a “battle station”) can be an absolute self-care centre. You may assume video games setups are purely practical, or even sterile, but today, anything goes. Think luxuriously comfortable chairs, ambient lighting, noise-cancelling headphones and ergonomically-designed desks. (You can get some inspiration for “zen-level” Battlestations at Reddit’s Battlestations subreddit.) And this can be a self-care treat anyone can enjoy. Many city-dwellers with small apartments will turn entry-ways, closets, or other spaces into their own gaming centres.

Using Video Gaming  as a Mental Break is a Smart Way to Refresh

It may be tempting to go-go-go in our current culture. But stepping back and disconnecting is an essential part of staying healthy. Don’t risk burnout, health issues or mental health problems; instead, let yourself take the fun, engaging breaks by playing video games. From boosting productivity and inspiring social connection to be a source of self-care, video games can improve anyone’s life. So step back from whatever is stressing you out, settle into your favourite game, and let it work its magic on you.

 

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Val Lukhanyu
Val Lukhanyu
I cover technology news, startups, business and gadget reviews

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