Feeling stressed out? You deserve relaxation instead of that. The process of relaxation is not like climbing a rock; it can also be as easy as eating your favourite pie. And sometimes you can relax while getting entertained.
You don’t even need to visit any spa or wellness centre. There are proven scientific ways that lead your stressed brain to relaxation within even 10-15 minutes.
#1 Playing Video Games
Yes, science has backed up the fact that video games kill stress, reduce depression and make the player feels better. Now, if playing video games is not a part of your daily life. Then you should add it to your schedule, and it will make your mental health better. In today’s time not only some teenage boys play video games.
But a study done in 2013 revealed that 45% of players are females. And moreover, people from the age group of below 10 to 50+ enjoy playing video games now.
Recent research by Michael A. Rupp proved that playing video games even for five minutes can improve the mood.
In the study, 66 people participated, and they were given a five-minute rest break from their work. Some participants played a video game called Sushi Cat, some participated in a guided relaxation activity, and some just sat in the room quietly and didn’t use a phone or computer.
As the result participants who played Sushi Cat felt better and relaxed after the break. People who took part in guided relaxation activity saw minor reductions in negative affect and distress. Whereas who took the silent pause, felt less engaged and worrisome.
Rupp is a doctoral student in human factors and cognitive psychology at the University of Central Florida. He says, “We often try to power through the day to get more work finished, which might not be as effective as taking some time to detach for a few minutes. People should plan short breaks to make time for an engaging and enjoyable activity, such as video games, that can help them recharge.”
Apart from this, I can contribute something related to video games because I love playing video games since childhood and I work 11 hours a day now. During work whenever I feel stressed out, I play Angry Birds on my phone for few minutes, and afterwards I feel pretty good and even energised.
As being a player, my advice to people who want to use video games as a tool for relaxation would be this. Play the games that are moderately severe, that you can beat with a little effort. If you choose highly challenging games to play, then you will end up with more stress, because of losing or not getting on to the next level. Ultimately, you’ll be stressed out instead of relaxing.
Most of the games these days have the competitive mode in which you can compete with other players online. Only jump into the competitive mode after some offline practice.
Another scientific support to back up this fact that video games reduce stress is here. It’s mentioned in the research done by Virtual Reality Medical Institute in 2009. The Casual Games Association says CVGs are viewed as important in stress reduction during lunch or after work and CVG play has begun to replace TV in this respect.
#2 Talk to Yourself in Third Person If Stressed Out
We don’t have friends around us all the time to share our good thoughts and even stressful things of our life. Now think you are stressed out and don’t want to talk to anyone or can’t talk to anyone because of time conflict or because of any other random reason.
What do we do then, well, we talk to ourselves? Don’t worry we all do that sometimes and talking to yourself does not make you crazy. And now there’s a scientific theory that explains and proves that talking to ourselves in third person instead of first person, actually reduces stress level.
According to this study published in July 2017 issue of Scientific Reports, talking to ourselves in our head as a third person helps us regulate our emotions. The study was lead by Jason Moser, a psychology researcher at Michigan State University.
Suppose John is stuck at solving a puzzle and he’s stressing out. Just uttering the following words in the brain will help and encourage John to solve the mystery. “Common John you can do this like you have done that (any previous achievement) in your life. This is also doable.”
According to Moser, “Self-talk is something we all do in our own minds.We psych ourselves up for performances, mull over different choices and rethink things we have said or done—all through a self-talk narrative. Talking to ourselves in a third-person is a powerful tool for regulating emotions.”
By the third person, he means that refer yourself as ‘she’ or ‘he’ instead of ‘I’ or ‘me’. I have tried it myself, and it’s pretty useful.
#3 Meditation – Never Say I am Stressed Out Again!
Greatest and natural way to kill the stress, anxiety and depression is meditation. It’s also the best source of energy. Even I have been doing it for almost five years. I can tell you that meditation beats every other stress-busting thing, it’s really in the top spot. It’s also very convenient to do, so comfortable that you can meditate in seconds. Hell, you can meditate for 1 second and feel better.
As being an Indian, Meditation and Yoga are part our culture for centuries. And because of that, I know several people who do Yoga and Meditation on regular basis. And I have never heard those people saying that I am stressed out. They are always calm.
But now western countries are researching it and adopting them and also getting benefits.
An Assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and previously a psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr Elizabeth Hoge has some good views about meditation. According to her mindfulness meditation makes perfect sense for treating anxiety.
I think the best way to learn meditation online is from Mingyur Rinpoche‘s YouTube channel. He is a Buddhist monk and teaches meditation. He also teaches the one-second meditation technique. To make it easy for you I have added the video below.