“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
This quote from Gandhi, known for his calm nature, is an interesting one. When you think about it, it is true: life shouldn’t be about rushing around and trying to get everything done, and yet that’s how many of us live it. This, in turn, makes us stressed and that can make us miserable at the very least. At the worst, it can make us extremely unwell with mental illnesses like depression and physical illnesses like high blood pressure.
Lowering our stress levels as much as possible needs to be something we all try to do more of, and here are some ways you can do it so that you feel better, calmer, and happier in general.
Play Video Games
You’re reading this on a dedicated gaming website so it may seem as if I’m preaching to the converted here with this one. However, it’s been proven that playing video games can reduce stress levels dramatically. It’s not just gaming in general but the type of game that you play can have a dramatic impact on your moods. This will vary for every individual so you’ll find that games that relax some won’t affect others as well but probably the greatest aspect of the PlayStation Vita is the diversity of its catalogue of games.
If we include its access to legacy titles from the PSOne, PSP, and the Minis range, there are well over a thousand games within reach for Vita owners around the world. Relaxing puzzle games are plentiful on the system, while engaging stories can be found both in the incredible selection of RPGs. For those wanting a more passive experience we have been blessed with a superb selection of visual novels and while they are certainly an acquired taste some are truly remarkable pieces of storytelling. If you’re new to the genre, I’d heartily recommend Psycho Pass: Mandatory Happiness for starters.
The best part about gaming with the Vita? It doesn’t take up any room at home and you can take it on your travels!
Enjoy A Massage
When you think of relaxation, the image of a massage might come into your head, and that makes sense. If you have experienced a massage in the past, you will know how great you felt afterwards, as though all your stresses had been washed away. If you haven’t had a massage yourself, you will almost certainly know some who has, and who will have told you how good it was.
So, if you are feeling tense and stressed, a massage is a good idea. When you have a massage, your hormones are put into a better balance, and the stress hormone, cortisol, is reduced, while the happy hormone, serotonin, is increased. This natural mood enhancer will make a massive difference to how you feel.
Meditation can be an easy way to de-stress and make you feel calmer, and it only takes as little as 10 minutes to get into a happy, relaxed state. Although it will take some practice, to begin with, once you understand the techniques involved (and the ones that specifically work for you), you will start to feel the many benefits. When you meditate, your mind needs to be as blank as possible, and that means not thinking about any of the things that are stressing you out. This alone will reduce your blood pressure and make you feel better.
Have Some Alone Time
Lives are busy, and there always tends to be a lot of noise and movement around us all. That can get a bit much and make us feel tense and stressed. When you are feeling this way, it’s a good idea to step back and take some time out on your own. You might only need five minutes in your room practising meditation, or you might need to go out for a few hours – or longer – to clear your head.
Some people might want to have a nap during this time, while others will enjoy searching for the best odds guaranteed online or playing a game on social media or again with a Vita. Do what makes you feel happy and calm, and when you return to the ‘real world’, you will be less stressed.
Exercise is a surprising yet successful way that you can lower your stress levels. It’s another way of clearing your mind since you will be focusing only on what you are doing in that exact moment, rather than thinking of mistakes you made in the past or the challenges that are coming towards you in the future (both of which can cause stress). As a bonus, you will also feel and become much fitter and healthier if you exercise on a regular basis.
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I’m an animal lover and vegetarian.
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