November 8, 2007
If you work at an occupation where stress and mental fatigue are a part of your workday, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover that playing free online games can actually help you relax and relieve stress at work. Puzzle games and games of strategy help workers shift gears from a high-stress situation, and by refocusing on something that engages their minds in a different way, find that they return to their work re-energized, which can lead to higher productivity on the job.
Teachers have long known that the easiest way to get a student to learn something is to make a game out of it. Games are associated with pleasant thoughts of fun. If at work or anytime throughout your day you experience stress from aggravation or frustration over a situation, consider a change of pace by jumping into a computer game for a few minutes. A survey of gamers by WorldWinner shows that people who play Internet games while at work benefit from the short mental breaks, which help them to work in a more focused manner after play. Several gamers also reported that they had greater productivity and less stress after playing a short computer game.
It has also been noticed by psychologists that the brain is not capable of thinking of more than one idea at a time. This has been used by doctors with patients suffering from depression. When the doctor asked them to remember a favorite time from their childhood, the patient was relieved of depression for the time he or she was thinking of the pleasant memory. This same idea seems to work with the casual use of online games during the workday. If, for example, you face a high-stress situation such as a tough negotiation session where you are grilled to defend your position, you might be keyed up for quite a while after that ordeal. However, you can help relieve the stress you feel by playing free online games. You can only hold one idea in your mind at a time, so instead of holding onto the stress, you can release it and focus on a simple game such as Tetris or Battleship. Your brain will shift to the new fun experience, and after a few minutes you will feel refreshed and ready for your next work activity.
Your boss might not understand how playing online games can fit into your work day. It does bear remembering that employees experience higher levels of absenteeism and lower level of productivity when they are experiencing a great deal of stress at work. Workers leave jobs that are too stressful, and the cycle of employee turnover is set in motion. It is better to spend a little bit of time as needed to let go of stress and fatigue rather than let it build up to the point that it affects your work detrimentally.
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