mom and daughter playing video gamesWe all know being a mom can be incredibly stressful at times, so thank goodness for yoga or other exercise, meditation, relaxing with a good book, happy hour with friends, and even ... video games. It's true!

Although you may not initially think video games fall into the same category as deep breathing or going for a long walk, recent research has found that hitting up that gaming console can actually be a stress reliever! And with a heat wave on, it's comforting to know that chilling out with a video game can definitely more benefits than you may have initially thought ...

In fact, researchers at East Carolina University looked at how adults' levels of tension -- as well as depression and anger -- were affected by gaming and saw vast improvements among the study participants. They said that what they found in their study confirms anecdotal evidence that people are playing casual video games to improve their mood and decrease their stress. They even went so far as to say that video games have potential in health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment of stress- and mood-related disorders. Impressive!

And it's actually not that big a surprise. For moms especially, video gaming likely offers a perfect form of escapism, an opportunity to focus on something completely unrelated to the everyday grind. And depending on what you're playing, a game can offer bonding time with the kids and/or spark your competitive spirit, so we productivity-craving women can feel like we've not only won a game, but we've accomplished something else. And there's nothing like checking one more thing off the list to reduce stress!

Do you ever play video games to reduce stress?