Using Stress Relief Games for Stress Management
Stress refers to the tension and pressure from the conflict between the external environment and yourself, resulting in physical and psychological reactions. There are many ways of relieving and managing stress levels, ranging from the extreme to the not so. Medication, alternative treatments, therapy range on the extreme, whilst relaxation techniques, laughter and even stress relief games range on the not so extreme.
That is right – there are such things as stress relief games, which promise to help you with managing your stress levels. Stress relief games are a viable option for relieving stress, and this includes both indoor and outdoor games. Although this method is not supported by research, it is highly recommended by most stress management programs.
Outdoor games take the form of tennis, football or basketball, and works similar to exercise. It is a great way to relieve stress and unwind, and serves as a useful and healthy outlet for day to day worries. Through exhaustive physical game play, the stress hormone levels are decreased. Indoor games are of course, a lot more convenient, and do not require you to spend as much time. These include chess, computer games, or mind puzzles such as crosswords and sudoku.
If outdoor games are similar in function to exercise, than indoor games are similar to meditation or relaxation techniques. By focusing on the game, the mind is able to move away from the stressor and this will help it to relax. The game also allows for the expression of altered states of emotions, ensuring intense involvement.
That said, that are many games available online for free, and it can be difficult to choose the appropriate game. There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when picking your game, to ensure that you reap the full benefit of engaging in the game. Firstly, the game should be suitably challenging, but should allow the player to win with ease. This promotes a sense of success and will increase confidence.
Secondly, it is important to pick a game suitable to each individual. Certain people relieve stress through physical exertion or expression of anger, and it is preferable to pick games that allows for them to vent their emotions without any actual physical or emotional damage to themselves or others. Suitable games would be those that involve some measure of violence. Of course, games which have negative effects should be avoided, such as those with high violence content and a high level of difficulty.
In general, studies have found that the incorporation of stress relief games at work reduces stress levels, and result in better relaxation. Whilst only a few studies support the use of online indoor games in stress relief, it is the general perception that such games are highly effective and useful for short term and immediate stress relief.