Stress is nothing to be ashamed of and, sometimes, all we need is a distraction to take our minds off the things that worry us most. The World Health Organization has found that at least 450 million people are affected by mental health issues worldwide and, sadly, this figure is rising. In Australia, at least one in five adults will experience a mental health problem every year, so clearly something needs to be done!
Stress can fall under this umbrella of conditions. So, how can we combat it? Of course, a doctor or other medical professional should be your first point of call, according to the NHS. But when you're left to your own devices for a more minor stress, there are loads of things you can do from home. The internet is great, providing a mindless distraction from a range of channels and avenues. These range from the mundane social media use right through to online shopping. Of course, sometimes we want a true getaway from everything, and spending yet more time dealing with dramas and spending on our credit cards on 'retail therapy' just isn't going to cut it.
Various types of adult gaming could instead be the answer. It's super easy to get involved with now that almost any game you want is online and anyone can play. There is even an Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine, a study which looks into the effects of gaming on mental health conditions. Researchers from East Carolina University have looked into the positive ways gaming can help us with our problems. It's really fun, too, and it is the escapism that can help take your mind of the stress of everyday life. So, what kinds of games can you play online in order to try and escape stress?
"Roulette" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by clry2
Is there any game easier than roulette? The premise is so simple, and anyone can get involved. In fact, to play online, all you need is a computer and an Internet connection. Plus, for those days where nothing is going right, you won't even need to sell your soul to enjoy yourself! Erm... hang on, what? Well, according to the 32Red Roulette page, the dude who helped developed the game apparently sold his soul to the devil to learn the secrets of how to win. The myth is made all the more spooky by the fact that the numbers on the roulette table add up to 666... eek! There are plenty of different themed roulette games out there, so you'll never tire of finding a game if this is the route you decide to take. You may well love it; and you aren't alone in your new found love, either - as 32Red points out, the game has been adored since all the way back in the 18th Century! Of course, safety is really important, so ensure that you're using regulated casinos only; Casino Reef explains your rights under the E-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance body.
A Yale University study found that recreational gambling was especially good for older people, so games like roulette can help you if played in moderation.
"Bingo!" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by elizaIO
Everyone knows that old ladies are some of the sweetest, kindest people out there. Everybody loves grandma, that's a fact. Old ladies have traditionally played bingo, and they're probably nice because they've decided to ditch the stress. See where this is going? These days, bingo is played by people across a broad spectrum of backgrounds (although studies show 75% of players are women), and maybe, just maybe, it's because they've cottoned on to Grandma's secret. Bingo is also really good for you in particular because it keeps you alert, according to Chigago's Rush University Medical Centre.
Just roll with it, you'll enjoy it!
Adult Colouring Books
Mindfulness was the buzz trend of 2015 in terms of helping adults cope with stress, and the main activity everyone was talking about was the adult colouring book. When you're feeling stressed, all you have to do is head to your computer and download one of a multitude of designs, print them off, and VOILA! Okay, so it's not strictly online, and it's not strictly a game, but it's one example of how regressing to a child like state with thanks to the Internet can really work for you! According to a study printed in Health Psychology, mindfulness lowers the stress hormone cortisol, too, and mindfulness is exactly what you're practicing colouring in these special adult activity sheets!
Ones To Avoid...
A study has found that violent video games will come at a price. They can be really good for stress relief, but in the long term, they'll lead you to channel your stress into aggression. Best to leave that then...
The Science Bit
A range of games have been found to be therapeutic. Scientists used to think games added to your stress, but now they think it can in fact be really good for your mental health overall. The reason for this is because a lot of stress is due to being stuck into a certain pattern of thought. Games can quite literally help you break the cycle, and happily wander into a carefree little 'zone'. That in turn helps you to forget your troubles, at least for a little while!
So! Now you know. Have fun, and good luck!