Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Is Gaming Good For Your Mental Health: 3 Games To Improve Your Mental Health

Is Gaming Good For Your Mental Health: 3 Games To Improve Your Mental Health


Video games can play a beneficial role in improving your mental health. For decades, there have been a lot of research on the negative effects of gaming. Though we can't ignore this, the truth is video games  are great for stimulating the brain. They also help to improve problem-solving, memory, and concentration when played in moderation.


Benefits of Video Games

Playing video games has so many benefits, from exercising your brain to improving social skills. Some of them include:

Improves mental health disorders

Video games can help people dealing with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), and attention deficit hyperactive disorder(ADHD). Participating in these intellectually stimulating exercises redirects attention and energy to problem-solving. This leads to an improved mood. 

Encourages mental stimulation

Have you noticed that when you are playing a game, you are mentally alert trying to make the right decisions quickly to win the game? Playing video games is good for training your brain and exercising your mind. In fact, according to data from a study, people who do puzzles have brain function equivalent to 10 years younger than their age. 


Builds emotional resilience

When you are playing a video game, you want to win! So you keep at it even if you fail or struggle initially. This is great for learning persistence and resilience especially for children. 

Improves social skills

Multiplayer games encourage collaboration. Multiplayer games have virtual social communities, where decisions are made quickly on who to lead a group and who to trust. 

Things To Note

It is important to set limits on how much time you will spend playing these games. Spending too much time on these games every day can lead to addiction. It can also lead to isolation and using the games to escape from your real life. Gaming is good for relaxation and easing stress but can cause problems if it's excessive.


 3 Online Games To Improve Your Mental Health

These are some online games anyone can play to improve their brain's performance and boost their mood.

Sudoku

This is a fun brain game that people of all ages and abilities can play. It is a logic game that challenges you to place the right numbers in boxes within a grid. Playing sudoku provides exercise and stimulation for the brain which can improve brain function according to a research study published in the International Journal Of Geriatric Psychiatry. It is also relaxing and gives a sense of satisfaction and achievement when you complete the puzzles.


Crossword Puzzles

Solving crossword puzzles boost your vocabulary, spelling, and knowledge of trivia. These benefits in turn increase your ability to think abstractly and your brain's processing power.  

Research studies have shown that participating in activities like crossword puzzles can delay the onset of memory loss and alleviate dementia especially for those who are already at risk for Alzheimer's disease and dementia.


Role-Playing Games

A role-playing game is a game where the player assumes the role of a character throughout play. How you play your character depends on the person who created the game world and how you respond to the various events in it.

 These games have been used by educators to help develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. RPGs can also be used in a therapeutic sense for practicing desired skills like speaking up in a safe space and collaborating with others.


Recommended Online Game Websites

You don't have to download paid apps in order to get the benefits of video games. These websites are full of simple games you can play in your browser. And guess what? They are free!


1. Plays.org

This website offers hundreds of free and fun online games you can play directly from your browser. It's really easy to use. You don't have to download an app or register an account to use the website. Another great thing about this website is that there are no distractions from advertising and no paid upgrades either. 

When playing the games, you don't have to worry about losing access to the internet because they are stored on the web browser. They have a wide variety of games for adults and children.  Some games to try are the ultimate Sudoku timed puzzle game, which is a free online version of the classic Sudoku puzzle number game, and the Super Tetris logic puzzle game


2. BestCrosswords.com

If you love crosswords, you will love this one. This website hosts a large supply of free crossword puzzles. They publish 15 grids daily. You don't need registration and you can play in your web browser, smartphone, tablet or print in high resolution.


3. Arkadium 

This website has a large collection of online games you can play for free in your browser. You have to register to use this one and the advertisements can be distracting. Try Arkadium's Codeword, a word game that is a free online version of Codeword.



 


Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Why Journaling Is Good For Your Health

Why journaling is good for your health


Journaling is writing down or keeping a record of your thoughts, experiences, insights, and feelings. It's simply writing down your thoughts and feelings so you can understand them more. It also helps your document your life. 

If you have a chronic illness, keeping a journal can help you track your symptoms, drugs, and hospital visits. Keeping a journal is a great tool for managing not just your mental health, but also your physical health.


Health Benefits of Journaling


Stress Relief

When you journal, you get to freely express your emotions and thoughts. You can then begin to identify the cause of your stress. When you are able to identify your stressors and triggers, you can begin to work on a plan to resolve them.

Manage anxiety and depression

Journaling helps to track your feelings and thoughts. It helps you identify thought patterns and emotional triggers that can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression. You can then learn ways of controlling them better.

Strengthens Your Immune System

Research studies indicate that writing expressively can help people with terminal or life-threatening diseases. According to psychologist James Pennebaker of the University of Texas and Joshua Smyth of Syracruse University, writing about emotions and stress can boost immune function in patients with illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, and arthritis.


 How To Get Started Writing a Journal 


* Dust Off Your Pen and Paper – You don’t need anything special to keep a journal; in fact, purists believe that using pen and paper is the best way to journal because you can carry it with you anywhere and you don’t need technology. So, there will be no excuses. 


* Do It First Thing in the Morning – Don’t procrastinate about keeping your journal. It’s best to do it in the morning before you begin your day so that you have the right frame of mind for the day. Plus, you only need five to ten minutes


* Do It Last Thing at Night – Another time to do it is before bed. This works especially well for gratitude journals. Write at least 3 things you are grateful for that day. That way you can go to sleep thinking about all the things you are grateful for instead of things you’re worried about. This is also useful for unloading your thoughts and concerns about the day on paper and you can free your mind for a good night's sleep.


* Write Often – Whenever you choose to do it, try to set it up so that it becomes a ritual and a habit. Journaling every day is going to be more effective than just doing it when you feel like it.


* Start Simply – Don’t start being worried about style and substance right now; just work on the daily habit with pen and paper (or if it’s easier for you, a computer or smartphone). Don’t make it hard - just get going.


* Begin with Today – Start right now and write about your day today. That’s the easiest thing to do. What of significance happened today? How did you feel about it? What would you do differently? What would you do the same? 


* Try Different Types of Journals – Once you develop the habit, you can start trying different types of journaling like a bullet journal, or a vision journal, or maybe even a project journal for your next project. 


* Keep It Private – The main thing to remember about your journal is that it should be kept private. The only exception is if you want to share thoughts with a therapist, counselor, or coach. Or if you want to turn it into a book or course, to help someone else overcome whatever you overcame.



How to Make Your Journaling More Effective


* Set Up a Comfy Journaling Spot – Find a good space you can journal in each day, one which is relaxing and without stress. Some people like to keep their journals by their bedside so that they can quickly write in their journals each night when they get into bed. Some people prefer to write sitting on their favorite chair while preparing for the day or even sitting at their desk. Just choose somewhere you find comfortable and will not be disturbed.


* Choose the Right Style of Journal for Your Needs – The type of journal you want to keep depends on how you plan to use it. You may want to track a project, in which case you’ll need a project journal. If you want to simply document your life, you’d want a classic journal. 


* Use Your Journal to Work Through Life and Reach Goals – Don’t just write in the journal; actively seek to improve something in your life - whether it’s the thoughts that drive your feelings or improving your actions so that you experience more success. Write about your goals in different areas of your life and your plans to achieve them. You can also use your journals to document your successes and achievements and note areas of improvement.


* Consider Using More Than Writing to Document Your Life – You don’t need to just use text. You can use images, pictures, tickets, and other memories inside your journal too. Sometimes a few pictures and mementos mean more than anything you can write to help you remember.


* Read and Reflect Occasionally – Take at least a few minutes to re-read parts of your journal. Once you’ve kept it for a year, it’s fun to go back and read the same day from last year to find out what’s different now and what’s the same and why.


Keeping a journal will help you deal with the things that happen to you as well as the things that may happen in the future.  Writing your experiences helps you remember what you did right and what you did wrong. It helps you improve your decision-making capacity for similar situations.

 However, it won't solve all your problems. So, do seek the services of an experienced mental health professional if you need help.








 

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

3 Apps That Can Help You Sleep Better At Night


3 apps that can help you sleep better at night


Stress can rob you of sleep and keep you tossing and turning all night if it's not well managed. This can affect both the quality of sleep and the duration of sleep. The National Foundation of Sleep conducted a survey that revealed that 43% of people aged 13 - 64 have reported lying awake at night due to stress at least once a month. On the other hand, poor sleep can cause stress.


Reducing stress and anxiety will help improve the quality and duration of sleep.  Apps in your mobile phone can be a needed ally to help you get more sleep. These health and wellness apps contain resources like guided meditations, sleep music, and even courses specially developed to help you manage anxiety, stress, and insomnia. These three apps are some of the most acclaimed health and wellness dealing with stress and sleep.


Headspace

This app's tagline is Be Kind To Your Mind. This mantra is perfect for when you are feeling stressed out and can't sleep. The app teaches you how to deal with stress and anxiety, meditate and live mindfully. You will also find sleep meditations, relaxing sleep music, and sleepcasts to help you relax and sleep. The app is free for the basics and charges a monthly fee for advanced features.


Calm

The Calm app is a highly rated app for relief from stress and anxiety. It has a wide variety of meditations ranging from beginner to advanced. The user can choose what type of meditation they prefer and for how long. This app also has an option for nature sounds which can be great as white noise for stress relief. It offers guided meditations, breathing programs, masterclasses, and relaxing music. This app is also free with in-app purchase options.


Dare

This app is based on the best-selling book 'DARE' which helps people overcome anxiety and panic attacks fast.  It is a training program to help people overcome anxiety, panic attacks, worry, and insomnia. One of its features is the collection of free audio guides to help you feel confident. You can also track your progress daily with the mood journal. The app is free with an optional paid subscription.


Your phone can be a treasure trove of resources to relieve your stress and help you sleep well. You may have to download a few of these apps to find the one you like and maybe even pay for advanced features. But, getting a good night's sleep and staying calm and productive is well worth it. 

Monday, 14 June 2021

Importance of Sleep To Reduce Stress: How sleeping Helps With Stress and Anxiety

sleep to reduce stress:how sleeping helps with stress and anxiety



 Sadly, stress is part of life. At some point, everyone experiences stress. Physical, emotional, and other types of stress take their toll on our minds and bodies. That's why sleep is so important. Sleep can help reduce stress and its effects.

Our bodies use sleep to recover. While we sleep, our bodies carry out important restorative functions. It's amazing how much our minds and bodies remain active even when we are sleeping.


Stress affects the mind and body

Stress can have negative effects on our minds and bodies. Stress causes the release of cortisol, a powerful hormone that triggers the fight or flight response in our bodies. This hormone can cause anxious feelings and raise blood pressure. Sound sleep helps reduce cortisol and balance the chemistry in the brain and body. Chronic stress without adequate sleep can raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.


Stress affects our mood

When we are stressed, we tend to either overreact or underreact. These reactions can cause many problems for us. Living in a heightened sense of worry and anxiety can lead to emotional outbursts, withdrawal, eating too much or eating too little and a wide range of other behaviors. After a long stressful day, a good way to reset your mood is to have a good night's sleep.


Stress affects our relationships

Stress changes how we engage with other people. Being anxious, worried, or overwhelmed makes it harder to be present and engage positively with other people. From coworkers to family, stress can destroy relationships if we are not careful. Being able to unplug from people and take some time for yourself can help. Sleeping provides a significant amount of time to recharge and get ready to face the world again. Even the act of relaxing in bed before sleeping can help you rebuild your energy and make it easier for you to interact with others in a positive manner again.



Sleep is a wonderful remedy for stressful days. Relaxing in the comfort of your bed and letting go of the worries of the world can give you a new perspective, renew your spirit and energy. Sleep can give you some uninterrupted time to recover. Making sleep a priority, including naps when necessary, can help your body and mind recover from stress and manage difficult situations better.



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