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Video game anxiety is real. Here's how to manage it

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Gaming anxiety

Ever have anxiety while playing video games? You are not alone. Many people find games to be anxiety-inducing even when they are trying to relax. Symptoms include headaches, palpitations, as well as feelings of hopelessness and low self-esteem.
Game anxiety can stem from a failure to complete a game, or feeling disappointed that you let your teammates down, or feeling lonely when playing solo. There are many things that can cause anxiety.

Ways to learn to enjoy video games

• Set smaller, healthier goals - thinking of smaller tasks to accomplish in your games can reduce your anxiety. To reduce the need to complete everything, redirect your focus toward other activities that can provide brain rewards, and plan for goals outside of the game to keep you motivated
• Refocus your energy elsewhere - finding something calming to do before and after gameplay can help with anxiety. It can be anything used to reduce stress

Ways to learn to enjoy video games

• Play what you like with friends - a way to reduce anxiety is to lean into social communication. It is also important to play the games you want to so that you enjoy the experience
• Try watching games instead - for many, watching others play can reduce stress and provide entertainment, all while learning new skills

Managing your anxiety

At the end of the day, there is nothing better than seeking help from professionals if you are living with game anxiety. Just knowing you have options to manage your life is empowering - your feelings and anxiety around gaming are valid and manageable.

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