Respawn & Recharge: Gaming for Emotional Self Care

What is Emotional Self Care

Self-care helps regulate our emotions and improve our emotional wellbeing, including decreasing anxiety and depression. So… what is the emotional dimension of self care? Referring back to that same article by Stoewen DL, the emotional dimension includes “Understanding and respecting your feelings, values, and attitudes; appreciating the feelings of others, and managing your emotions in a constructive way”

Emotional self-care involves taking intentional actions to understand, manage, and nurture your emotional well-being. It is a vital component of overall self-care, acknowledging and addressing your emotions in a healthy and constructive way. Emotional self-care encompasses a range of practices and strategies aimed at promoting emotional resilience, self-awareness, and a positive mindset. 

Key Elements of Emotional Self Care

  • Self-Awareness:

    • Reflection: Regularly check in with yourself to identify and understand your emotions.

    • Mindfulness: Practice being present in the moment, observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment.

  • Emotional Expression:

    • Artistic Outlets: Use creative expressions like writing, art, or music to convey and process your emotions.

    • Open Communication: Share your feelings with trusted friends, family, or a mental health professional.

  • Stress Management:

    • Relaxation Techniques: Incorporate techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to manage stress.

    • Time Management: Prioritize tasks and create a balanced schedule to reduce feelings of overwhelm.

  • Self-Compassion:

    • Positive Self-Talk: Challenge negative self-talk and replace it with supportive and compassionate thoughts.

    • Self-Forgiveness: Practice forgiving yourself for mistakes and setbacks, recognizing that everyone is imperfect.

  • Gratitude Practices:

    • Gratitude Journaling: Regularly write down things you are grateful for to shift focus toward positive aspects of life.

    • Expressing Appreciation: Show appreciation to others, reinforcing positive emotions for both you and those around you.

  • Mindset Shifts:

    • Positive Affirmations: Incorporate positive affirmations to cultivate a more optimistic mindset.

    • Perspective Taking: Challenge negative situations by considering alternative perspectives and reframing thoughts.

  • Engaging in Joyful Activities:

    • Pursuing Hobbies: Participate in activities that bring joy, pleasure, and a sense of accomplishment.

    • Laughter and Fun: Prioritize humor and fun experiences to uplift your mood.

Social Self Care

Emotional Self Care and Games

So how does that fit in with gaming?

We firmly believe that games are always self care (so much so that it is an entire blog series). So how exactly do games fit specifically with emotional wellbeing? For one, playing games encourages talking to others! Playing games with friends (or even strangers) can lead to a multitude of conversations and small talk. Talking with others can help distract from anxieties, work through issues, and build lasting friendships.

Playing games also helps engage a creative side of yourself which in turn helps you to relax. Many board games have an interactive or imaginative side to them. From tabletop war games where you create narratives based on dice to role playing games where you get to create the entire narrative. There are many options for creativity amongst gaming and creativity helps encourage emotional wellbeing.

Finally, and most importantly, playing games can help you step away from stress, even if for just a short time. Sometimes the best way to balance your emotions is to step away from them all together and enjoy a reset. Gaming helps do this in many different ways. In addition to talking and creativity, just the act of playing games can use enough brain power to distract you from all the other emotions. A number of games utilize strategy or multi-resource tactics that use a decent amount of brain power and help take your mind off other emotions.

Here are several advantages of playing games:

  • Stress Reduction:

    • Games provide an immersive and enjoyable escape, allowing individuals to temporarily disconnect from stressors and challenges.

    • Focusing on the game at hand can redirect attention away from negative thoughts, promoting relaxation.

  • Emotional Expression:

    • Gaming often involves emotional experiences, providing a safe and controlled environment for the expression of various feelings.

    • Story-driven or role-playing games allow players to explore different emotions and narratives, fostering emotional exploration.

  • Positive Reinforcement:

    • Accomplishments within the game, such as completing challenging levels or winning, can provide a sense of achievement and boost self-esteem.

    • Positive feedback and encouragement from fellow players contribute to a supportive and uplifting atmosphere.

  • Mindfulness and Focus:

    • Gaming requires concentration and focus, promoting mindfulness by keeping individuals engaged in the present moment.

    • The act of playing can be a form of stress relief, allowing players to be fully absorbed in the gaming experience.

  • Emotional Regulation:

    • Gaming provides a healthy outlet for emotional expression, allowing individuals to channel and regulate their emotions in a controlled environment.

    • Story-driven games can offer a safe space for exploring and understanding complex emotional themes.

Social Self Care

Gamer's Path and Emotional Self Care

Emotional self-care recognizes the importance of nurturing and managing emotions for overall well-being. By integrating these practices into your routine, you can build emotional resilience, improve self-awareness, and foster a healthier relationship with yourself and others. Engaging in in-person gaming at Gamer’s Path can offer a variety of emotional self-care benefits, contributing to overall well-being and providing a positive outlet for emotional expression.

  • Social Support:

    • Gamer’s Path gaming encourages social interactions, promoting a sense of camaraderie and support among players.

    • Collaborative gaming experiences create shared memories and connections, enhancing emotional bonds with friends or family

  • Community Building:

    • In-person gaming often involves participation with out local store community, fostering a sense of community and belonging.

    • Gaming brings together individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests, creating opportunities for new and meaningful relationships.

  • Mood Elevation:

    • The entertaining nature of in-person gaming can evoke laughter and joy, contributing to an improved mood.

    • Gaming environments often promote a lighthearted and playful atmosphere, positively impacting emotional states.

  • Enhanced Social Skills:

    • In-person gaming encourages verbal communication and collaboration, helping individuals develop and refine their social skills.

    • Cooperative games require teamwork, fostering positive interactions and social bonding.

In summary, in-person gaming can be a dynamic and positive contributor to emotional self-care. The combination of stress reduction, social support, positive reinforcement, and the joy of play creates a holistic emotional experience that can enhance overall well-being.

Social Self Care

Overall, there are a number of ways that gaming help with self care, including emotional wellbeing. Check out the reasons to play games we have so far:

  1. It is a form of social self care that can build lasting friendships, memories, and connections along side improved communication skills and positive social outlets.

  2. It is a form of emotional self care that helps with community building, provides emotional regulation and positive reinforcements, and elevates social skills. 

Check Out Previous Posts in this Series

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