Stress Reliever Games
Stress Reliever Games and Your Health
There are hundreds of healthy techniques for dealing with stress and anger – meditation, organization, yoga, exercise, talk therapy – but there is one often under-used trick that people forget when they need it the most. And that is playing stress reliever games.
When you look at anger management and stress management games, they are precisely what the stressed mind and body needs when confronted by overwhelming anger and stress –easy, fun, immediate relief.
Kids know the truth : Playing games is the best way to deal with any situation.
And although the stakes and rules have changed by the time we reach adulthood, that truth still stands.
Using anger management games and stress reliever games to ward off the nasty effects of anger and stress is simply one of the best ways to get back on track and ready to take whatever life is throwing at you.
Why Do Stress Reliever Games Work?
Stress relief and anger management games work in a way very similar to meditation and yoga.
When you play a stress game, you are focusing entirely on the object, the sounds, the visuals, and your goals – not on the thousands of thoughts we allow to swirl through our heads during times of stress.
All attention goes to the game, which gives your brain time to subconsciously process the events preceding the anger or stress incident, diffusing the fight-or-flight response, and returning you to a calm, productive, aware state.
As you play, your stress hormones drop, reversing the negative effects of anger and stress on the body and allowing you to feel pleasure, involvement, and peace.
What Makes a Good Stress Reliever Game?
A stress management game is any game that follows these basic rules:
- 1. You can win. Sure, we all want a challenge in life, but when the object is to calm down and reboot, you want to choose games with a high chance of success.
- 2. You can vent. Too often, when we vent our stress and anger we do so in a negative way – yelling at family and coworkers, slamming cabinet doors, or, at worst, resorting to violence. Your anger management games should give you a chance to vent openly and safely.
- 3. You don’t go double negative. You might think that the quickest way to relieve stress is to play a game with lots of violence and blood lust – at least it’s all in the computer! Unfortunately, studies have shown that playing excessively violent games can actually trigger stress and anger responses in the body – effectively worsening an already stressful situation.
- 4. You concentrate. Don’t go for games that allow you to play while worrying about other things at the same time. The secret to the success of stress reliever games is that you are, in effect, tricking your overworked mind into meditating – concentrating so fully on one task that the heart rate slows and everything else melts away. Just five to ten minutes in this state can be enough to reboot your mind and leave you calm, refreshed, and ready to get back to the task at hand.
Making Play Work For You
Feeling the first signs of stress – muscle tension, anxiety, rushing thoughts? Starting to feel that deep boiling up of anger, your face flushing, fists clenching, teeth grinding?
Stop. Put everything down, as soon as you can safely do so. Take a deep breath. Now play.
Get out! If the weather cooperates and you live and work somewhere with open spaces, getting outdoors and away from the computer, the house, the car – whatever is bothering you – can be your best option.
- Shoot hoops, kick a ball around, or throw a Frisbee alone or with friends. Stress-relief games don’t have to be complicated or foreign.
- Boost the anger-management potential by adding obtainable goals – try to get as many baskets as possible in ten minutes.
- This keeps you focused on the game and counting – a tried-and-true stress reliever – and has the added benefit of providing you with an attainable goal.
- Each time you play, try to beat your last score. A sense of accomplishment is a natural stress-reliever.
Work Your Brain
Puzzle and word games are well known for their ability to clear the mind and relax the body
- Crossword puzzles are easy to find in your local newspaper or magazines.
- Sudoku is great for people looking to decrease stress but who are happier to play with numbers than with words.
- Logic games are a particularly good source of stress-relief because they tend to work via a series of little victories that keep you focused and motivated toward an ultimate, achievable goal.
- For an extra stress relief benefit, play puzzle games online against a friend with a similar skill level. Low-stakes competition provides a safe forum for venting frustrations while connecting to someone outside your stressful situation.
Find New Meaning
One of the best ways to control anger is to tease it apart and look at the underlying causes and at your reaction relative to the trigger.
So often, we allow our anger to rage out of control rather than deal with it when it is still manageable. Many stress and anger management games are about breaking down tasks or goals into small, easy tasks.
As you play these games, let yourself think about how each tiny task adds up to a win for you – and how you can apply that to dealing with the issues that make you angry and stressed.
Websites for Stress Relief Games
You can not always get away from the office to play during stressful times, but these sites are free, rich resources of stress and anger management games. Check out our top picks, and allow yourself to find balance in a hectic world.
Games for Groups
Games for Groups contains anger management games designed to teach groups of young adults and adults to understand and think productively about their anger responses.
A favorite game here, the board game challenge, brings fun activities, competition, and meaning together to allow players to calm down and take charge of their stress instead of letting their stress take charge of them.
Although there is no competition involved, Meditation Flowers is a soothing, meditation-based game that allows you to connect breath, sound, and computer-generated visuals for an instant-calm down.
You will need a microphone attached to your computer and a private space for your humming, outbursts, and droning and song. You can even speak your worries or anger aloud to the computer, and watch a flower form from your frustration.
At the end of the exercise, print out your flower and post it in your office as a visual reminder of what good can come out of troubled times.
There are thousands of sites that offer Sudoku games online, but if you are an iGoogle or Gmail user, Google’s Sudoku War game allows you to add the game to your front page and invite any of your address book contacts to join you for a quick stress-busting game.
Remember that stress reliever games should be challenging, but shouldn’t add to your stress!
Like the bygone Scrabulous, Wordscraper allows Facebook friends to play stress reliever games similar to Hasbro’s Scrabble over the course of many days. If you only have a few minutes each day to dedicate to calming the mind and spirit, you can play, save, and come back to the game the next day when you need some play time.
Long-term games like Wordscraper encourage the user to set a regular time each day to unwind and de-stress, even for just a moment.
The FlashGame Website has hundreds of quick stress reliever games to play when you need a mental break to regroup.
Try classic card games like Memory and Solitaire, racing games, Tetris, and more – just be sure to give yourself a time limit – stress reliever games should never be a time-devouring pursuit, but a short mental vacation.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to breathe, have fun, and focus on finding joy in the little victories of your stress reliever games so you can take on your triggers and stressors with confidence, a clear mind, and a relaxed body.
From Stress Reliever Games to the main page about Stress Games