After undergoing weeks and months of rigorous self-reflection and work to improve ourselves, we begin to understand the things that work for us and the things that don’t. We can begin to recognize our healthy habits and rid ourselves of the unhealthy ones. We drill down to our core and we begin to see who we are and what we need. Coping mechanisms and tools are a huge part of mental health recovery and maintenance. Even beyond your recovery program, you will employ specific tools to help yourself and ensure you minimize the chance of any setbacks or relapses. A lot of these tools and mechanisms will be geared towards decreasing stress. Stress plays an integral role in our mental issues and conditions; it can be the leading force to cause these to develop and can be a large reason why they return. We can find ways to help ourselves reduce the amount of stress we feel, but what we don’t often think about is the extent to which we immerse ourselves in these things. 

Gaming is something that a lot of people are utilizing to try to reduce the stress in their lives. The industry is continuing to grow at an incredible rate. From the rise of esports to the success of games like Fortnite, gaming is becoming more and more a social norm; it is no longer looked down upon as a “nerdy” hobby. Whereas it used to be viewed as a waste of time, gaming is starting to become a usual way for people to spend their time. Gaming offers us a good escape from the world around us and offers a larger extent of participation than watching shows or movies. While all three of these things present us with a story to lose ourselves in, gaming directly puts us in control of this story. We are not just passive observers, watching it all unfold; we are controlling the main character and directly influencing the story as it goes along. This added dimension of participation can do a lot to engage our minds to focus on the game and events happening within it; by losing ourselves in them, we can wait for our bodies to get through whatever it may be experiencing at the moment. We can let the stress stay on the side for a bit and allow ourselves time to relax, regenerate, and recoup from our daily worries. Add to this gaming’s continued growth with socializing, and you can also feel a human connection while playing games. Games have come a long way from being one person on their computer, playing alone, forgoing social interaction in order to experience a digital one. Gaming has grown into a truly social experience with game chat and giving players the ability to form “parties”, a group of a set amount of people that can talk, regardless of what game they are playing. While this still is not a substitute for interacting with others in-person, it can still be a good substitute in moments where that isn’t possible. By engaging in games, you can find a way to reduce stress in your life, at least for the time being.

Finding Relief in A Digital World

Of course, as it is with all things, you have to do it in moderation. If you completely neglect all other aspects of your life then gaming can become an unhealthy habit for you. Some people may be afraid to face their stress and so they immediately dive into gaming, causing the rest of their lives to be neglected and issues to remain unresolved. Gaming is not a solution to your problems; it is simply a method by which we can take the time to clear our minds and think of a proper fix. Gaming addiction is a very real thing and engaging in too much gaming, you can develop a whole new condition that is damaging and detrimental to your health. Being mindful and responsible about how much you are allowing yourself to bury your mind and stress in games is important to stop these addictions and unhealthy habits from forming. You have to be vigilant in your own health and how you are responding to the games. 

We want you to find those things that help you feel at peace for a period of time. We don’t want you to be constantly racked by stress and bogged down by worry. Gaming can be that outlet for you and we encourage you to indulge in it. We just want you to keep yourself healthy and monitor your responses to it. Developing a dependence or addiction to games is just making the situation worse, and can be incredibly damaging to your life. Life after recovery doesn’t have to be a stressful one, but it does require a certain amount of awareness. But you have the tools for that; just remember to use them. 

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with addiction or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]