Smartphone games can improve mental health
Smartphone games can improve mental health: Countless studies of cell phone addiction have shed light on the effects of long-term screen time. Sleep deprivation and symptoms of depression are common signs of prolonged phone use. What if we investigated the positive effects? Smartphone games can be one of the most cost-effective ways to improve mental health.
Jacek Michałski is an expert on the gambling aspect of gaming and is familiar with mobile games like CrazyFox Casino. Here he explains the relationship between mental health and mobile apps – and how it can be used to your advantage.
Gamifying Mental Health
The addiction of phones and social media can be traced back to the tiny dopamine outbreak every time you get notifications and scroll your feed. While many companies design apps to be difficult to resist, others aim to use gamification as a mental health treatment.
What is gamification?
Gamification is the process of adding game elements in non-game contexts. It is the external motivation that helps the individual to complete the necessary tasks. The properties can include:
- Points (experience, advancement, skills, etc.)
- Avatars or character creation
Applied Gamified Intervention
A 2019 study published in PLOS ONE shows that turning interventions into a mobile game increases resilience to depression, stress, and anxiety. In the study, 358 participants completed a 5-week study with eQuoo, a learning app to increase emotional fitness.
The scales on the 1st, 17th and 35th day were compared and showed a significant increase in mental strength, personal growth and positive relationships with others. More studies are in progress and could show that smartphone games can be vital in promoting mental health.
Development of cognitive skills
In psychology, video games are recognized for their ability to improve cognitive skills. Many studies have shown that long-term use of commercial games and puzzle games has positive effects on processing and response times, memory, multitasking, and more.
The same goes for mobile games. As opposed to being bombarded with excessively bad news and information, brain training games focus on improving your cognitive skills. Sharpening your mental skills can help you take care of yourself, solve problems, and prevent the signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia in your later years.
Mobile games for executive dysfunction
Games based on mental illness don’t just focus on improving your cognitive and emotional skills. It also helps manage the symptoms and increases the quality of life for children and adults who struggle with everyday activities. Conditions like depression, anxiety, ADHD affect some or all of the seven executive functions:
- Emotional regulation
- Nonverbal working memory
- Planning, organizing and solving problems
- Self motivation
- Verbal reminder
These important skills are needed to complete tasks throughout the day. In addition to improving leadership, it can also keep you updated. Smartphone games can also be designed to increase productivity and manage the dysfunction of your executives.
A popular app that uses gamification for productivity is Habitica. It is a free habit building role-playing game that rewards you in-game for completing real-world tasks. If you’re struggling to start and maintain a healthy routine due to mental illness, gamified productivity apps can keep you up to date.
While social media and excessive phone use can lead to negative psychological side effects, apps that improve mental health and personal growth can be beneficial. Individuals can use smartphone games to build resilience, encourage healthy habits, and level up in real life.
If you are interested in inexpensive treatment, there are many games on the market that are great additions to your mental health journey. The play of your life is just a few steps away.
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