Basic Stress Relief Games

You've probably already heard that meditation, yoga, walking and breathing exercises are good for stress relief. However, you may not have heard the latest scientific find: Stress relief games are also effective at lowering blood pressure, elevating mood, and increasing feelings of optimism.  What games are these?  Check out the following stress relief options.

Play a stress-relieving video game
Believe it or not, video games can be efficient stress relief vehicles. Whether the game allows people to hunt for smiles or includes mild violence that allows for frustration release, video games can provide stress relief that translates into lower blood pressure and steadier heart rates. Some video games have even been created for and tested by psychologists and are marketed specifically for stress relief.  Some of these games train you to focus on the positive instead of negative, while others simply give you a chance to release stress through friendly competition.

Play a round of tennis
Physical activity has long been a recognized method of stress relief. If you combine the challenge of a skill game-tennis, racquetball, handball or squash-with the physical exertion needed to compete in such a game, you will find your stress level will go down. This depends, however, on whether you have the skill necessary to compete in the game without frustration. Look for a game and partner that suits your skill level and play something physical to lower stress levels. Some workplaces have invested in ping pong tables, racquetball courts or basketball courts to allow their employees a way to release stress through games. 

Challenge your stress to a game of solitaire
imilar to the effects of computer stress relief games, you can relax your stress away with a deck of cards or a game on your phone, Blackberry or other portable apparatus. The reliable rules and opportunity to tune out and relax without dealing with a partner can be a welcome relief for people who are wound tight from stressful social interactions with coworkers or domestic situations.

Whatever game you choose to play, you'll need to remember the point of game is not winning, but anxiety relief. Keep your cool and let the game do all the work.

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When the pressure's on, it's even more important that you put yourself first. Applying simple stress management techniques like controlled breathing, exercise and maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce your stress and the risks it poses to your physical and emotional well being.

Feeling stressed? Meditate. Health professionals now strongly encourage stressed individuals to turn to meditation as a form of stress relief.

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Everyone experiences some level of stress in the workplace, but you can cut down on that significantly through commonsensical practices.

You're sitting in heavy traffic, late for your daughter's soccer game and your two preschoolers are having a shouting match in the backseat. Your daughter is complaining, "Why are we always late?" Your heart rate is rising and your muscles are tense.

Coping with stress requires a conscious effort each day. Take time out for yourself, even if only for 30 minutes, to focus reducing stress.

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