Although a lot of people give advice that for stress and anxiety give advice that you should switch off from all the technology and constraints of the busy modern world, and say that the last thing you should do is pick up a TV remote, a gaming controller or turn on your PC, a lot of people are now turning to games as a way of relieving stress.

And believe me I am one of those people who do it. Reach for the gaming controller in order to relax and wash the stress away.

But the weird thing is... it works. Ask any gamer and they would probably give you the same answer. Gaming is a great way of dealing with stress, anxiety and in some ways depression.

A lot of the older generation tend to shun and look down on the younger generation, accusing them of having a dependency on technology and are no longer engaging with the world, but never look deeper then what they see on the surface. They can see that on the other end of that phone they having a conversation with a friend they made. They cant see that they are using that computer to search for an advice on a subject that no one is providing the answers to. They cant see a young person not only having a fun with a game, but having a laugh and chatting with their friends through their headsets.

Admittedly, and I think we have all come across them, a few gamers have tarred us all with the same brush and given us in the gaming community a bad rep. I'm talking about the ones who cheat and hack the system, the gamers who have no limits on their swearing, the ones who make really appalling jokes. But they only account for a small percentage of the community as a whole. But they have had a bad effect on the way people see gaming as a good thing to do.

But overall gaming isn't bad, and in some studies has proven to very beneficial to people. Games are being used for medical research now. And people are starting to see it as very good way for young people to use as a way to battle the anxieties and stresses they feel in day to day life.

Admittedly some games may not be good for those suffering from anxiety but a lot of people who have anxiety still turn to those games. Why? Mainly because of the control they have within the game. If they feel anxious they can turn it off. But while playing the game they also have control over where their character goes, what they do, what they say, and they don't feel like anyone is forcing them to go anywhere they don't want to go. Which is why most people with anxiety recommend RPG games for that very reason.

First Person Shooters and Action games are reportedly very good at helping to relieve stress in a healthy way.

And being to have a laugh with your mates while playing a multiplayer game and having no pressures placed on you is a good way to deal not only with stress but with depression as you have somewhere to turn to when life is pulling you down.

So if you feel ashamed that gaming is the thing that helps you, you shouldn't bit. Ultimately you still shouldn't be dependant on it and its all about balance in life. So try to do other things to relax such as reading a book, baking, going out for a walk. Balance everything out. But ultimately if you are feeling stressed, anxious, depressed or just want someone to talk to, don't be afraid to pick up you favourite game in order to achieve this.

- Sammii

* Check out this article for a little bit more on this. *