Playing board games (in my opinion – “brain games”) was all that we did as youngsters back in the day. We have to admit that it kept our brains sharp and we were a little more creative, possibly? It wouldn’t hurt to play board games from time to time keep our brains sharp.
Remember those fun games like, “Sorry”, “Trouble”, Backgammon, Othello, Scrabble, Monopoly, “Life”, Clue, Battleship, etc? Playing board games is really healthy for our brains. Think about how much it can relieve feelings of depression and anxiety? It can be very therapeutic to your cognitive health overall.
I can’t begin to tell you how it has made a huge impact on my mental health. You will feel more optimistic about your life, you will seem happier to the surrounding people. You will feel more outgoing. You will feel better about yourself, etc. In actuality, you just may feel like living life again!
Getting a group of friends together maybe once a week or even every other week to play board games, would be awesome. We all know what usually happens in those gatherings, right? Of course, laughter and good times well spent, especially when sharing your thoughts on any topic to just release some of that stress. Get it out! Release it! You’ll feel so much better!
It’s not meant for you to deal with this all on your own. There are people out there who care more than you think.
Grab a couple games and plan a get-together with some friends! You deserve it!
The part of your brain that controls anxiety, fear and depression.
The part of the brain that controls anxiety, fear, and depression, is called the AMYGDALA. This term means almond or almond shaped (the aggression center), which there are two of in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The amygdala plays a key role in modulating anxiety and fear. Individuals with anxiety disorders usually show an increase in amygdala response. The limbic system structures and the amygdala are connected to prefrontal cortex regions. The amygdala also detects fear and threatening emotions, and it processes positive stimuli, memories that are emotional, and varieties of other functions.
Stimulating the amygdala can produce feelings of anger, violence, fear, and anxiety. A destroyed amygdala can cause a mellowing effect. It really is a good idea to help keep this part of our brains as healthy as possible, especially if we are dealing with panic attacks and anxiety.
The amygdala is made up of six nuclei components which are:
- The central nucleus
- The Accessory Basal Nucleus
- The Lateral Nucleus
- The Medial Nucleus
- The Basal Nucleus
- The Cortical Nucleus
In a nutshell, the amygdala is known for the processing of our emotions. Try to remember when it comes to your emotional health, think about the health of your amygdala.
Playing games on your devices are great too!
Do you have a cellphone, an iPad, or a laptop, etc? There are tons of digital games available! I absolutely take advantage of it! I love playing Ultimate Jewel, word search games, and crossword puzzles.
There are game apps for smart phones as well. Playing games can put your mind elsewhere for some sanity in your life.
I personally, need an outlet to put my mind on something that eases stress. It’s a win, win! You strengthen your mind and you ease stress at the same time!
Below is a list of games that you may enjoy:
- Word search
- Crossword Puzzles
- Candy Crush
- Color Road
- Garden Scapes
- Words with Friends
Anxiety Apps are also helpful.
CALM is by far the most popular anxiety App, currently. It offers breathing exercises, helps boost confidence, it reduces stress and anxiety, there’s guided meditation help, bedtime stories and soothing music.
STOP, BREATHE, and THINK is an App that allows you to check how you are feeling at the moment. You can also try short activities, tune into your emotions plus physical symptoms. You can also choose the amount of time that you want to use. It also has tailored intervention imagery for your convenience and needs.
Youper is a great App strictly for anxiety overall.
Headspace is a great App for mindfulness.
MY3 is for individuals who may be suicidal. It’s an excellent choice for more severe cases of anxiety. It has a platform where you can choose 3 individuals that you trust and are comfortable with, and enter them into your contacts list. This would be used for an emergency emotional crisis situation. It also offers suicide prevention help with resources and phone numbers.
My final thoughts.
I hope this article has given you something to smile about. It doesn’t hurt to bring out the little kid in us once in a while. These Apps and games have helped me get through some challenging days, indeed. Please feel free to leave a comment and I am open to any suggestions that you may have that can help others. I don’t have all the answers, I’m just sharing my experiences and what has worked for me, and hoping that it can help you as well.
Stay positive, stay safe, and know that you are not alone in this journey!
Hope For Calm