With our jobs getting more stressful and many people feeling compelled to check emails and respond to work-related queries around the clock, it’s no surprise that our stress levels are rising. A healthy work-life balance is one of the main things that you need to reduce your work-related stress and feel healthier, calmer, and more in control throughout your everyday life. If you feel like the balance between your work, family life, hobbies, and other activities that you enjoy is non-existent or barely there, it’s no surprise that you might be feeling more stressed out than usual recently. If you can relate to this, finding something to do to fill your time that’s enjoyable for you rather than being something that you need to do like working is important. 

Gaming can be an ideal hobby that you can do from home or on the go to spend more time unwinding and switching off from work commitments. Here are some of the top ways that taking up gaming can improve your stress levels and your work-life balance. 

Focus on Something Else:

Playing a game gives you a chance to focus on something else. Whether you’re building a life in The Sims, figuring out how to beat the zombies in a survival game or even deciding which decisions to make playing Blackjack or Poker on a site that you found through OnlineCasinos, it gives you the opportunity to think about something else other than work and do something that you enjoy instead. 

If you need something else to think about and like the idea of playing games at an online casino, Online Casinos is a great site to start off with – you can use it to find more information on the different online casino sites currently available in the UK including information such as the games available and new player bonuses and rewards. 

Unwind and Relax:

Not all games are high-pressure, suspenseful first-person shooters. Although there is nothing wrong with playing these if that’s your type of thing and you find that they help you unwind, there are plenty of games to choose from that are quite relaxing. Strategy games, for example, can be quite relaxing, especially if they are simple and don’t require a lot of thinking or planning. If you have a console, games like Stardew Valley where you run your own farm can be a fun and relaxing way to spend the time; or try something like House Flipper if you play on a PC and like games where you can feel a sense of accomplishment without having to run around chasing bad guys. 

Reduce Panic and Anxiety:

Studies have found that gaming can be a suitable activity to try if you are often anxious or suffer from panic attacks. This is especially true for games that require a high level of focus from the player such as Poker, Blackjack, Chess, and Tetris where you need to stay focused as every decision matters. 

A study published in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry found that a researcher who pulled out a chess app on their smartphone and started playing once they felt panic attack symptoms was able to prevent the attack and feel much calmer and in control simply by focusing on the game instead. The idea behind this is that your focus is diverted elsewhere from the thing or situation that is stressing you out or causing you to panic. While it’s probably not recommended for situations where you’ll need to run, if work is leaving you feeling panicky and anxious recently, playing certain games can help to balance your thoughts and provide a welcome distraction. 

Work Out More:

If you work in an office job or are working from home more often recently as a result of the COVID19 pandemic, chances are that your work does not give you very many options to exercise and stay active. A sedentary lifestyle doesn’t just impact your physical health but can also have a knock-on effect on your mental and emotional wellbeing. On the other hand, regular exercise will release ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain, lift your mood and help you feel more confident and in control. 

Working out doesn’t always mean going to the gym and spending time on the boring machines, though. If you prefer workouts that are more fun and interactive and prefer working out at home rather than going elsewhere to exercise, active games might be the perfect choice for you. Virtual Reality games, such as Beat Saber, provide a great way to move more when you play giving you the sense of satisfaction that comes with hitting the targets along with improving your overall health and wellbeing. 

Boost Your Communication Skills:

Good communication skills can make it easier for you to get things done at work and in your personal life. There are plenty of ways that gaming can improve your communication skills since many games require teams to work together in order to hit targets or win the game. Certain games will help you deal with any feelings of disconnect that you might experience if you lack communication skills. Games can definitely help you get your point across, listen more actively and work together with other people towards a common goal. So, while you might use gaming as a way to wind down and distract yourself from work and improve your work-life balance overall, you could actually be improving some key transferable skills while you game. 

Improve Your Sense of Calm:

Surprisingly, research surrounding violent video games has found that the opposite of what you’d expect happens when people play these games. Many people believe that playing violent video games might make you more violent in real life, but a study carried out by Texas A&M International University in 2010 found that these games provide people with a safe and acceptable way to release pent-up anger and tension, which ultimately leaves you feeling calmer and more in control in real life. 

If work is leaving you feeling stress, taking up gaming in its many forms can be an ideal way to improve your work-life balance and find something else to focus on.