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7 games to relieve stress and improve overall cognitive function

With almost epidemic levels of stress and anxiety. In our society as a whole, more people than ever are looking for ways to relax, relieve tension and regain a sense of control in their lives.

This naturally leads people to paths such as meditation, exercise and healthy eating. While all of these methods have been shown to be effective, an often overlooked technique for reducing stress is playing games.

It turns out that there are a variety of brain-stimulating games that can help reduce stress while promoting improved cognition. This is because some games can help you be more present in everyday tasks, increasing your focus, concentration and problem-solving skills, which can help you stop obsessing over the past or worrying about future events. And the bonus? They are fun! Let’s get to the games.

Rubik’s Cube

First invented in 1974, the Rubik’s Cube became a global sensation when it was first released to the world. As you probably know, the goal of the game is to start with random, jumbled, and disorganized configurations of the cube and rotate the sides back to the original solution pattern, where each side has a single color.

Because of their complexity, Rubik’s Cubes offer many benefits, including better memory, patience, problem-solving skills, and mental agility. Interestingly, when Erno Rubik first came up with it, he wasn’t sure if it could ever be solved. After developing the prototype, it took him a full month to find a solution.

Riddles

Puzzles is a fantastic game that helps you increase your short-term memory. The more puzzle pieces it contains, the harder your brain has to work. This is because your brain has to observe, analyze and sort through hundreds (sometimes thousands) of small pieces until you find a match.

In addition, puzzles are great because they stimulate both the left and right sides of the brain. Because to complete the puzzle, you will have to use logic, intuition and the creative functions of your brain.

Sudoku

Did you know that between 10 and 15% of the American population suffers from dementia? If these statistics are what worry you, consider giving Sudoku a try.

According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, playing Sudoku can improve brain function and stop dementia. In fact, those who do puzzles such as jigsaws and Sudoku have brain functions that match people who are ten years younger than them.

Chess

Chess is a game that is played and loved all over the world. Because of its seemingly endless complexity and room for strategy, people from all walks of life spend hours learning chess and challenging their minds.

As a result, playing this centuries-old game has many benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving memory and increasing concentration. Interestingly, a 2019 study found that chess is another effective tool for protecting the elderly from dementia.

Solitaire

Next on our list is Solitaire, one of the oldest and most played card games in history. After its introduction in the late 18th century, there are now hundreds of different variants of the game, each with its own set of rules and winning conditions.

The general concept of most versions of solitaire is to stack the cards in a certain order (usually from ace to king for each suit), limited to a few allowed moves. Thus, the game requires patience, critical thinking, memory and pattern recognition skills to win, which is why Solitaire is often considered one of the best games for improving cognitive performance.

Crossword puzzles

Crossword puzzles are another classic game that can help you calm down, relax and exercise your brain. These games can help you improve your vocabulary as you try to find the missing word from the clues while increasing your knowledge base on important topics (especially popular culture references). In addition, you can use crosswords to strengthen social ties.

Because crosswords require a wide range of knowledge, people of all ages and backgrounds can help with them. So the next time you have an answer, don’t hesitate to reach out to the person next to you for help.

Scribble

Scrabble is another game that will help you improve your vocabulary as you have to try to make a word out of the tiles at your disposal. With a whole vocabulary of words to choose from, you can be sure that every round will be different every time you play Scrabble.

This makes the game fun and addictive, and can also prove to be a great way to compete and interact with friends and family. Surprisingly, Scrabble is known to offer a wide range of mental and physical health benefits, such as lowered blood pressure, improved immune system and improved memory.

The last word

These eight games provide an effective way to reduce stress in your life while improving your cognitive function. Although most of these games can be difficult, the idea is to focus only on the task at hand, so they can be used as a tool to learn something new and stimulate your brain.

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