How To Overcome Video Game Anxiety?

Video games are meant to be fun and relaxing activities, yet sometimes we can experience anxiety while gaming. This anxiety can come from different sources – fear of failure, social pressures, or feeling overwhelmed. While video game anxiety is common, there are ways to manage it so you can go back to enjoying your favorite hobby.

Identify The Source

First, reflect on what exactly is causing you to feel anxious. Are you afraid of not being skilled enough and letting your team down in an online multiplayer game? Do you feel pressure to complete games quickly from watching speedrun streams? Is a difficult single player game overwhelming you with too many mechanics to learn? Pinpointing the root cause will help you address the issue directly.

Adopt a Growth Mindset

Having an open and flexible attitude is key to overcoming gaming anxiety. The more you can adopt a growth mindset, the less likely you’ll be crippled by a fear of failure. View challenges and setbacks as opportunities to improve your skills, not as crushing defeats. Remind yourself that failure and mistakes are part of the learning process.

Start Small

If a game is too difficult, try breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. For a lengthy single player game, set smaller goals like making it through the next level rather than thinking about the entire game. For competitive games, consider playing against easy AI or in casual modes before jumping into highly-skilled matches. Starting small allows you to get comfortable with a game’s mechanics and controls before ramping up the intensity.

Focus on Improvement

Rather than zeroing in on wins or losses, try focusing your attention on incremental improvement. Make it your goal to improve a certain skill, strategy, or technique rather than obsessing over rankings and K/D ratios. Over time, those microskills will stack up into macro success. Improvement often requires failure along the way, so view each failure as bringing you one step closer to your goal.

Lean on Your Community

For multiplayer games, lean on your gaming communities for emotional support. Join Discord channels, forums, or other social spaces to connect with other players. Share your gaming anxiety experiences and strategies for overcoming fear. Supporting each other through struggles can help ease the pressure. Having a regular group to play with also adds camaraderie.

Take Breaks

Pushing through anxiety can quickly lead to burnout. Be sure to take regular breaks from gaming to reset your mindset. Go for a walk, read a book, or try some deep breathing exercises to relieve tension. Staring at a screen when already anxious can overstimulate your senses, so give yourself healthy periods of offline time. Think of gaming in a healthy, balanced way.

Overcoming gaming anxiety may take time and conscious effort. But by reframing your outlook, providing self-care, and employing coping strategies, you can get back to enjoying video games as the fun, inspiring hobby it’s meant to be.