As you are sitting in a quiet place, have you ever wondered for a moment about letting go of your worries and letting your mind take you away to a place where the sky is bright blue, and the color of the body of water looks like a combination of glitter and diamonds? A beautiful and peaceful place where you can let go of all the stress of a chaotic week and engage your brain in a fun and mindful activity that will help you be in the moment. During gaming time, gamers are familiar with that powerful and calming effect on their minds.

Animal Crossing – Picture courtesy of Nintendo Ltd.

Video Games Can be Therapeutic to Our Mental Health

Numerous studies have provided significant evidence highlighting the positive effects on our mental health while playing video games. For example, a recent study points out that they can positively influence your happiness and mental health.

Playing video games may improve your mental health and make you happier, according to a scientific study that used industry data from gaming companies to analyze players’ wellbeing.

Additionally, another study points that gaming time can also help reduce stress and improve our focus and mindfulness. For example, a study published on ScienceDaily showed “Digital games may relieve stress after a day’s work more effectively than mindfulness apps.”

Also, last year, so many people turned to therapeutic games to stay digitally connected during quarantine. Interestingly, during that time, a game from Nintendo Switch called “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”  gained humongous popularity for people of all ages. Also, it has even captured the attention of our elderly.

Realistically, not everyone can instantly jump on an airplane and go on vacation. It takes planning, time, and money. So, after a long stressful week, we try to find a new way to de-stress. Also, on those lazy days that you don’t feel like going to the gym and workout, our creative thinking cap can help us find different ways to let go of the stress and have fun.

Friends – Picture courtesy of

And sometimes, it doesn’t matter how many times we scroll through social media on our phone or how many episodes of “Friends” reruns you have already watched on Netflix; you feel that your thoughts are still going 100 miles per hour and that urge to decompress is there. So, how can we relax a busy mind who is obsessively thinking about a stressful week or your to-do list waiting on you?

What Happens When You Play This Game?

As you begin navigating through this game, you find yourself aware of your thoughts, as your awareness remains firmly on what is surrounding you. Speaking of your surroundings, you notice the cutest and adorable anthropomorphic animals, who are always kind and friendly with each other with their unique personality.  And when they are crafting a project, these cute little creatures are always ready to exchange gifts and give you DIY recipes, which you can easily use to decorate the inside and outside of your home.

Imagine running free on a beautiful island filled with beautiful colorful fruits and lots of money trees as you step into your digital playground. Then every day, you will practically be inspired how to practice mindfulness, as you frequently notice the island’s residents meditate under a tree in the middle of a sunny day.

Animal Crossing New-Horizons is the perfect game for those who, like me, is devoted to one game for an extended period. But, first, would you be happy to have Tom Nook as your boss? Then, in a stress-free environment, you will notice this cute little raccoon; step by step, will guide you on how to unlock many of the necessary features for you to advance in this game, such as how to build your home and how to create your paradise on the island.

Then interestingly, you will receive a Nook Miles reward at the end of each completed task. Such as building houses, fishing, cutting down trees, and more.  Furthermore, unlike our reality, where we constantly hear about crime and negativity in our daily news content, on your paradise island, there is no crime to report by the lovable Isabelle from the resident center during the morning announcements.

Fun Games Can Teach You How to Laugh

Furthermore, you may have heard your grandparents say a good laugh is good for your soul.  And remember how happy you felt at the end of the game even though you did not win the tournament? Finally, how many of you recall the first time you played Nintendo Mario karts on a match online with some impressive and very talented players.

Remember how hard you laughed? Also, how difficult it was not to bump into other players? Or how difficult it was to hold on to the stirring wheel to stay on track?  So, even if you are playing a fun game and losing, you will learn how to laugh, accept your mistakes, and move on. 

Throughout the years, we have learned how to enhance our happiness in many ways. According to the BBC, a study from Oxford has confirmed that individuals who play video games for an extended period seem happier than those that do not, this study has concluded. “People who play video games for long periods tend to report feeling happier than those who do not; a study has indicated.”

In the end, each day in our society, with our overwhelming schedules. Stay home moms, or whether you work from home or in an office setting, we find ourselves getting busier than ever. So, of course, productivity is a priority, but now more than ever, it is essential for us to preauthorize mental health and self-time.

So, don’t feel guilty about making time for gaming. On the contrary, doing so will help boost your happiness and forget about what’s happening in the world. So, next time you get a text from a friend asking you to get online to play video games, go with the flow, have fun, and say yes. You will not regret doing so; multiple studies have been clear on this.


  • Nunzia Stark

    Writer with a special focus on wellness and mental health.