While we are all slogging it out at work, one must know that the pressure and stress can mount up to severely take a toll on our nervous system and overall health. However, it is not a lost cause as yet, according to recent study. Taking breaks and playing video games may help to a great extent. The study showed that people who played casual video games displayed an increased engagement and effective restoration levels. Playing these games also happened to restore individuals' effective abilities, thereby making it a suitable activity for recreation and restoring mood in response to stress, as compared to those who took a silent break.
According to the study published in the journal Human factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, those who participated in guided relaxation activity saw reductions in negative affect and distress. People who did not engage in an activity reported that they felt less involved in work and experienced anxiety and worry.
Michael Rupp, a doctoral student at the University of Central Florida in the US, said, "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. People should plan short breaks to make time for an engaging and enjoyable activity, such as video games, that can help them recharge."
For the study, the team used a computer-based task to induce cognitive fatigue in 66 participants, who were then given a five-minute rest break. In the break, some participants played video game called Sushi Cat, or participated in a guided relaxation activity, or some simply sat quietly in the testing room without using a phone or computer. Through this span, at various intervals, researchers measured the participants' stress level, mood and cognitive performance. And found that those who engaged in games and guided relaxation activity were found to be more engaged at work later.
The researchers admitted that their study was limited when compared to those working in safety-critical fields, such as air traffic control and healthcare.
If you don't have the interest or access to video games, you can also resort to other means to get rid of stress and feel energised. One such means is your diet. Yes, your diet can help you in numerous ways. Here are five quick and hassle-free snacks which will keep you energized and going through the day -
1. Banana Shake: Bananas are rich in Vitamin C, which is a great stress-fighting nutrient. It helps repair cell damage caused due to stress. Also, the potassium that it contains helps in maintaining healthy heart muscles. You can also have them as smoothies, salads, etc.
2. Yogurt: Yogurt is packed with calcium, which works wonders in relieving stress. It has been studied that the 'good bacteria' found in yogurt helps to kill anxiety and depression. Cool down with a comforting bowl of this natural stress-cleanser.
3. Sprouts : Lentils are packed with all types of Vitamin B, nature's own happy pill. It helps reduce tiredness and fatigue. Lentils also stabilise the blood sugar and fire-up your energy levels. What you can do is to sprout them and toss them with cucumber, tomatoes and chaat masala, and munch as snacks to calm your tired muscles.
4. Oats: Mornings are the most stressful hours of the day. A bowl of oats and some fresh fruits finished off with a drizzle of honey can help keep your mood swings in place. Oat meal boosts positive energy as it is considered to be a serotonin enhancer, a chemical that makes you happy.
5. Nuts and seeds: Cashews are profuse with magnesium, which plays a significant role in stabilising energy. Cashews are also abundant in vitamin B6, which helps produce serotonin, a lack of which can affect your mood. Sunflower seeds are full of tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in the production of serotonin and melatonin.