How Escape Rooms Help you “Escape” from Depression

Slowly but surely, the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to take its toll on all of us, and especially on the younger ones.

As more and more children are stuck at home with their social interactions cut off, they’re having a really hard time coping with it all. Even though the world is now turning slowly digital, the reduced interactions with their friends is undoubtedly having a negative effect on the minds of the children.

Being isolated from the society and having to only complete their courses and work online is resulting in people spending more time with screens, with no breaks and with no interactions with “real” people. Such an environment makes people feel left out, exhausted, frustrated, and alone in facing the world. They have no way to release the stress that’s been building up all this while.

Sure, while they can talk to those around them and express their feelings, a big amount of their social interactions are still absent from their lives. As a result, people tend to become more depressed and sad as they are confined to their homes and thoughts. In a recent survey prior to the pandemic, it was found that a whopping 26% of adults in the US suffer from depression. And that count is only going to grow in the coming times due to the situation at hand.

People all around are robbed of social interactions, with nobody to talk to to express their fears. They are vexed with their repetitive life that offers little to calm their troubled minds. While some people have had their work completely doubled with having to take care of their families, look after their children, and generally help around more, others have seen a completely opposite trend – they were left with nothing to do.

In fact, as of the end of May, one in every four workers in the USA had lost their jobs, resulting in the count of total unemployment reaching over a whopping 40 million by the end of a 10 week run of the situation. Such high numbers of unemployment have not been seen since The Great Depression in the 1930s.

Amidst fear of losing jobs, dealing with the loss of loved ones, crumbling under financial pressure, and fearing for their own health and safety, many people are succumbing to depression. A recent report suggests that one third of the US population have shown symptoms of depression, anxiety, or both – since April 2020. There has also been a surge in domestic violence, as reported by the WHO – a 10% increase in calls to the police reporting domestic violence cases.. All these tensions rising and the situations deteriorating are certainly painting a bleak picture for the future.

The online world is trying to come up with ways to counter its own disadvantages. Many ideas and applications are being made to show the online life in a positive light. One such attempt, and a very good one at it, is the online escape room. Based on the traditional idea, online escape rooms take it a step further by giving you the same enjoyment at the comfort of your homes.

However, apart from just being great ways to pass time, these escape rooms also help you get over your sad state of mind and give you some joy. Let’s now see how they do that.

1. Energizes You

People while playing escape games are usually more active as they’re completely engrossed into the story and play with full attention. This makes them confident, energized and have a positive thought flow.

As they are constantly engaged in conversations with their team members, their minds won’t have time to think about anything else apart from the tasks at hand. As they play, they feel accountable to their team and this doesn’t let them step into their own whirlpool of negative thoughts.

2. Gives You a Sense of Accomplishment

As opposed to doing things for themselves, people feel more responsible when doing things as part of a group. A great advantage of playing online escape rooms is the fact that you not only play with your family and friends, but also with unknown players around the globe. This helps you connect with a variety of people and increases your social communication skills. As you engage with people, you don’t feel left out and feel content with what you’re doing.You are driven with much more determination than you normally would be, to complete the task successfully.

The task of finishing the game within the time limit and solving all the puzzles give them meaning that they otherwise wouldn’t have. This makes them hunt for the happiness in winning the game and thus they put their full efforts into doing it.

3. Your Brain Likes It Too

Research shows that as you play online games, two parts of the brain are in a constant state of simulation. These are the reward pathways (parts of the brain that processes goals and motivation), and the hippocampus (part of the brain responsible for memory and learning).

These areas of the brain tend to shrink when a person is depressed, and so keeping these parts simulated is a step in the right direction as the brain remains active and functions well. The closer you get to achieving the objectives of a game, the more these areas are activated.

Gaming also releases two important chemicals present in your brain – dopamine and serotonin. While dopamine is responsible for feelings motivation and satisfaction, serotonin induces feelings of well-being and happiness. As you play the game, dopamine is released which motivates you to play and win the game. Afterwards when you think of the game, it is serotonin that is released which gives you that feeling of happiness.

Thus, gaming can stimulate parts of the brain and keep them active and healthy.

4. Gives a Break to the Monotony

We all want a break from our lives – escape rooms provide just that. As you enter a whole new world, you become so engrossed that you forget about your stresses and worries for the duration of the hour or so.

This is indeed very helpful in refreshing your brain and breaking the monotony that you’ve been accustomed to all along.

Although staying at home can sometimes feel like too much, the world of online escape rooms is sure to keep you engaged and away from depression. Interesting premises, puzzling clues, and ingenious challenges are all part of their attraction, and once you step into their world, you’ll only be coming back for more!

Stay safe, stay happy, and have fun!

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