App Games for Anxiety

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by a SOVA Ambassador. SOVA Ambassadors help create meaningful blog posts for us to share.

There are days when anxiety can’t be overlooked or ignored. Often times it’s understood that if you have anxiety then you can’t sit still or think “straight” for more than a few minutes at a time. Anxiety also has the tendency to surface and show itself in more ways than one. You might feel more anxious and upset one day while feeling more sad and isolated the next. Either way, it’s important for you to know that you are not alone and there are ways to distract yourself when feeling overly anxious.

Personally, one of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling more anxious than usual is to engage in game-play. I’m a huge fan of video games and have since come to enjoy downloading and playing different games on my smartphone.

Image by Farid Hawami via Flickr
Image by Farid Hawami via Flickr

Did you know there are many games in the “app store” that are great for reducing anxiety and stress? One anxiety-reducing game that I’m fond of playing is “Polyforge.”

This game was created through Unity Technologies (a major game development company) and uses 3-D game technology to give players an amazing experience. While playing through level 1, you’ll notice that there’s a 3-D shape spinning around in a circle. Your job is to highlight the edges and sides of this shape with the small triangle that flows around the spinning shape. Piano music is also played in as background music and to add emphasis when the player hits the edges of each shape with their triangle marker. I am currently on level 60 (and am enjoying the soothing music as well)!

An article titled, “11 Games That Might Help You Reduce Anxiety and Stress,” released on Buzzfeed.com, focuses on games that reduce stress and anxiety. Most of these games are free for iOS and Android users, while others require payment upfront to download. A few games listed in the article (and a few cool games I often play myself) are:

  • “Pigment – Coloring Book”

A “digital coloring book” that offers players use different “colored pencils” to fill in white-space and blank areas with colorful tones and hues. Find out more about coloring for stress by reading this blog article: Coloring Books for Mental Health

  • “Pokemon GO”

A great way to interact with other users and make friends – since most users and game-players are usually seen outside frequenting public areas, catching Pokemon, and so forth. This game also encourages users to take walks while enjoying a variety of nearby areas (e.g., public parks).

  • “Neko Atsume”

Are you a cat-lover who’d love to have their own collection of cats? Then this game is for you! I recently suggested this game to an extreme cat-lover and they’ve come to love it!

When you’re feeling more anxious than usual you don’t have to feel “odd” or “strange.” One way to get your mind off things is to engage in game-play like I do!

Has your adolescent ever downloaded and played a game to help with their anxiety?  What other coping mechanisms do they find helpful (or unhelpful)?

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