When I am feeling anxious or stressed, one of the best tools I have found to help me feel more grounded and calm is playing simple games.
It may sound strange to some, but this technique of using online gaming for stress relief works so effectively for me. So I am always looking out for a few new games to try, so that I can turn to them when I need a bit of stress relief.
Recently, I have been trying out some of the games on solitaire.org and found some great games that appealed to me really well.
How does playing games help with anxiety?
For me, when I am feeling anxious or overwhelmed with thoughts, I find it really hard to snap out of it and calm my brain.
Having something specific to focus on really helps, because it directs your thoughts into one place and gives you a purpose to direct your mind for that moment in time.
To feel grounded, and come back to a calmer mental space if you are feeling anxious or triggered, many therapists recommend techniques such as the 54321 technique where you use your senses to count and acknowledge things around you.
The steps are
- 5: Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you. …
- 4: Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you. …
- 3: Acknowledge THREE things you hear. …
- 2: Acknowledge TWO things you can smell. …
- 1: Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste.
A lot of the games I prefer to play when I am anxious and stressed involve finding things, matching things, finding patterns and I feel like for me this works in a similar way.
It helps to take me out of wherever I am in my mind, and bring me back to a focused task so that I can feel more grounded in where I am, and somehow feel a little more in control.
Here’s a run through of some of the games I have been enjoying on solitaire.org
There are so many games available on the website, I have not tried everything. When you find the type of games that you enjoy, you can dig down into that category and they have lots for every section.
For example, as you can see if you like to play Solitaire then when you click that section of the menu, you will get all kinds of varieties.
Although the site is named Solitaire.org there are many other games too not only Solitaire
As I mentioned, if I feel stressed I love finding things so I decided to try out the Hidden Object games and this was great for me.
You can choose between different themes such as the secret garden, castle, kitchen, china and more.
You can play all of these games on a computer or laptop, but you can also play online in your phone web browser without needing to download any app. This is quite useful for hidden objects if you want to scroll around the scene, zoom in and out to find the items.
This is another game that I really like playing. As with all word scramble type games, you need to use the letters on your screen to put together as many new words as possible.
In this version of Word scramble, new letters are constantly dropping onto the play area and once you use a letter it will be removed until another one of that letter drops into the screen.
This makes the game more fast moving than the static type of word scramble games I have normally been playing, and I really liked it.
You have a timer and a goal for how many words to complete. I found it quite achievable so I don’t really focus too much on the score or the levels, I just keep finding words and that helps keep me calm and relaxed.
This was actually pretty challenging for me. If you prefer something more challenging, it’s worth trying Wordoku.
The concept is pretty appealing because I love Sudoku and I also love word games but I will admit, completing the entire grid is not easy – although working out the hidden diagonal word is pretty simple (this word is playhouse)
With the Wordoku games and the cross word games on the site, if you want to play more just change the date and you will be given a new puzzle so you are not actually limited to one per day.
Mahjong is another classic game which involves matching, which I always enjoy.
There are lots of designs available that you can play with, and I enjoyed these Chinese character tiles to match up as I learned Chinese on Duolingo a couple of years ago (also a hobby that I use for stress relief)
There are many more games for me to continue exploring. I think for now, my favourite was the word scramble.
Have you tried playing logic games to help with stress and anxiety? If not, give it a try.
If you found these recommendations useful, please share this link with friends and family or pin these games to your Pinterest board so you can come back to them whenever you need it.