Studies have found that more than half of people in America suffer stress and frustration on a daily basis. They may even experience cognitive fatigue (impaired brain functions) in their daily routine due to this, leading to anxiety and panic attacks down the road as well.
People who are more prone to cognitive fatigue are those who are working in places where the safety of others is their prime responsibility i.e. in hospitals and air-traffic control.
Are Video Games the Answer?
A doctoral student from the University of Central Florida, Micheal Rupp, has an interesting solution for stress. He thinks that playing video games at your workplace can help you in increasing your productivity at work and help in stress relief.
“We often try to power through the day to get more work finished, which might not be as effective as taking some time to detach for a few minutes,” said Rupp.
“People should plan short breaks to make time for an engaging and enjoyable activity, such as video games, that can help them recharge.”
To study his theory, he assembled a group of researchers along with his co-authors. The team induced cognitive fatigue in 66 participants with help of a computer based task. After that, they were given a five- minute break. Some of the participants played a video game called Sushi-Cat in the break while others participated in relaxation activities or sat quietly in a room without a computer or a mobile phone.
The researchers measured the stress, frustration level and cognitive performance of the participants at various intervals. The only group which played video games, felt better after the break. Those who sat quietly in a room felt detached to their work and in return felt more agitated and the others who engaged in relaxation activities felt that their distress and other negative effects were reduced.
Stress is not all harmful. If it is kept in check then it could actually be beneficial. At times, it can help in the development of our skills which wouldn’t have gotten as polished if we weren’t under pressure. But if the same stress gets out of control it can pose various threats to our health. It can make a person feel out of control.
A prolonged time period of stress can make a person lose their confidence and may negatively affect learning abilities.
Stress is not just limited to the USA. It is wide spread all over the world today. About 8.3 million of people suffer from serious mental health problems. These problems require medical treatment but most of these people cannot afford it.
Here in Pakistan talking about mental health is a taboo. More awareness needs to spread which can result in saving a lot of lives.