If you’re feeling stressed and are unable to relax, then it might be worth picking up a video game controller.
Studies have shown that gaming can help people to relax, while reducing feelings of stress. Likewise, gaming sessions can provide players with meditation techniques and hits of dopamine.
Of course, not all games can be considered relaxing, which is why FandomSpot has carried out a new study to find the most calming releases.
According to the study, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is the best game for mindfulness – which is handy, because it’s on practically every platform.
Gamers were calmed by the repetitive battle mechanics, lush outdoor scenery, and the overall grind for better items and XP.
Skyrim is certainly one of the most beautiful games ever made, and it’s easy to get distracted by the gorgeous views when exploring the world.
Second on the list is cult favourite Katamari Damacy, which sees players attempt to roll up as many items as possible
Perhaps unsurprisingly, third place on the list goes to classic puzzle game Tetris, which is one of the best-selling releases of all time.
Witcher 3 also appears on the list, largely due to its huge open-world which is a joy to explore.
In fact, games with big open-worlds dominate the list, with No Man’s Sky, Minecraft and Euro Truck Simulator all making an appearance in the top 10.
Likewise, games with lots of colour such as Flower and Firewatch are a hit with gamers looking to relax.
FandomSpot explains more: “As part of our ongoing series of studies about how modern media affects the way we live, we were intrigued to find out just how much gaming could affect our mood and mental wellbeing.
“When we last surveyed our community members, we asked them to list the games that made them feel the most mindful and in a state of ‘flow’ (also known as being ‘in the zone’).
:For the physical element of the study, 100 participants from a range of backgrounds, locations, gender, sexual orientations and ages (ranging between 18 and 72) were asked to test the games that were mentioned most often during the survey.
Participants were asked to game in two-hour stints, alone, using whatever consoles and peripherals that they would usually use to game but with the addition of them wearing a simple heart rate monitor to ensure that it didn’t raise significantly to suggest stress or over-excitement.
“They were also asked to record via a questionnaire of how their mood shifted before, during and after gaming to highlight emotions, stress levels and how mindful they felt.”
You can see the full list of the most calming and mindful video games below.
The top 10 ‘most mindful’ games…
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2. Katamari Damacy
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
6. No Man’s Sky
7. Euro Truck Simulator
8. House Flipper