Tough day at the office? Blow off steam by blowing up bad guys. Playing interactive online video games during your downtime may help you de-stress from work, finds a new study from University College London.
Regular gamers reported it was much easier to cool down from work than people who didn’t play. The researchers say in order to recover from a stressful day at the office, you need good control and relaxation—both of which you can gain from plugging in. Video games evoke a stronger sense of relaxation because of the mastery and control you achieve while playing, says study author Emily Collins.
In particular, massive multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, give you more opportunities to improve and complete challenges. As a result, you feel more accomplished and less stressed from work matters, the researchers say.
Two classics to try: World of Warcraft, which is one of the most popular MMORPGs in the world, and the Call of Duty series, a shoot-’em-up franchise with several editions. Log online after work for a few rounds, and pretend one of your opponents is your annoying cube-mate who gave you grief all day.