More and more people all over the world are reporting increased bouts of anxiety and stress, prompting many developers to release mindfulness smartphone apps intended to help users control their breathing, calm down, and practice meditation. Besides the obvious irony associated with using a smartphone to quell anxiety, a surprising study out of the United Kingdom has found that playing smartphone video games may be better for mental health than mindfulness apps. Researchers conducted two experiments for the study. First, 45 students completed a minute math test and were then given either a smartphone game, a mindfulness app, or a fidget spinner for minutes to help them unwind. The study participants who played a game reported feeling more energized and less tired, while participants in the other two experimental groups reported feeling more lethargic.
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Yoga is a natural stress-reducer, a kind of meditation in practice. While many adults use yoga for improvement of physical and mental health, it is also an exceptional outlet for children. Research has shown that mindfulness-based treatments may be effective for a range of mental and physical health disorders in adults. It turns out that the slow, focused and calming aspects of mindfulness meditation have similar results for children with ADHD, who are often impulsive, unfocused, hyperactive, and fidgety. I use mindfulness-based meditation in my work with children diagnosed with ADHD. When the meditation is used in conjunction with play or talk therapy, the results are extremely positive. Many of the children are able to slow their thoughts and impulses, and are more aware of their actions both in the home and during school.
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Sometimes games don't need to be challenging to be exactly what you need. M odern life is a constant source of stress. Stress is a creeping problem, slowly bubbling beneath the surface often without you even realising it.