Escape Rooms and Mental Health

2022.04.14.

Stress is an unfortunate byproduct of our fast-moving modern lives. This can apply to both our home lives and our work. Having to deal with colleagues, management and projects, it's quite similar in terms of stress to dealing with very small children. Along with having to pay the mortgage, finding the money to pay the bills and putting food on the table, life can be extraordinarily difficult. It's no surprise that many working people are absolutely exhausted by the end of the day. You'll find them sitting in front of the television, totally zoned out as they watch mindless rubbish. Their brains are too fried  to have to think about anything deeper.

The Daily Dirge

Many people who go to work are living in a sort of depressive groundhog day situation.  During the working day, there are very few opportunities of relieving or de-escalating the levels of stress. In fact, it's the constant repetition of lack of prospects and work- related stress issues that can cause sleep disorders. All this culminates in a depressive mindset. Your average employee is super stressed out throughout their whole lives. On a positive note, at least today we are more aware of this. Certainly to the degree that we are becoming more serious about issues concerning mental health and mental well-being. Of course, Covid-19 did nothing to add to this negative mixture. With more and more people forced to social distance, it's no surprise that many workers end up feeling alienated and alone.

Puzzles For Better Mental Clarity

Today many employees realise that they need a welcome distraction away from the day-to-day stresses of work and life in general. Interesting enough, many studies have shown that riddles and puzzles can be used to reduce stress levels. At the same time they also function to improve the well-being of an individual. Essentially, doing puzzles makes use of both sides of the brain. This leads to greater mental clarity. Also, it also acts as a form of ongoing maintenance for keeping the brain in tip top condition. One of the places where you're going to find one of the best opportunities to use both sides of your long-suffering brain is an escape room game. It doesn't matter if you're playing virtually via an internet connection or in a real brick and mortar building, you'll find that playing escape room games will lead to an improvement in mental well-being and better mental health.

Can Puzzles Really Help Mental Health?

If you visit an elderly relative in an old people's home you will find that there's a great emphasis there on doing all sorts of puzzles, including jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, word scrambles, word searches, card games and even the Hungarian Rubik’s cube.That's because it's generally thought by most healthcare mental professionals that these sorts of exercises are good for brain function. In fact, doing puzzles and riddles is considered a sure way of delaying the ageing process as far as mental health goes. It suggested that doing mental puzzles from the earliest ages is going to help you maintain good mental functionality as you get older.

Making The Brain Work Is Good For You

The two sides of your brain, otherwise known as hemispheres or lobes, are responsible for many different functions. The right hemisphere deals with your emotions and the creative aspects. While the left side is far more responsible for systematic actions and analytical functions. What makes puzzles and riddles so great is that they put both hemispheres to work. Most of your day to day activities rely on just one hemisphere on its own. Another aspect that's important about brain function is that, as you come to complete an incomplete puzzle, then your brain will reward you with the release of the happy reward chemical, dopamine. This will increase your level of satisfaction and fulfilment.

Escape Rooms For Improving Mental Health

Thanks to the Covid pandemic, many employees were unable to mix with friends or their work colleagues. Being stuck at home alone can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness. Unfortunately we still live in an age when less-than-perfect mental health is seen as something negative. To that end many people simply suffer without ever reaching out for help. Although the idea of working from home may appear to be absolutely wonderful on paper, after a year or so, many people miss the basics of human interaction. By nature human beings are social animals. As such, they crave interaction and the company of other human beings. So even taking parts in a zoom-based escape room game over the internet is going to be a life improvement for most people. 

Make Friends Over Zoom

If someone is feeling lonely and depressed, then playing an online escape room game with a team of others is going to be a great tonic. For a start, it takes the mind away from personal problems as participants need to throw themselves into the puzzles, riddles and clues, so as to complete the game within the allotted time. Even playing with a conference app like Zoom allows people to feel in contact with others. The relationships made are just as genuine as if you were in the same room together. Though we've spoken about how escape room games are a great brain food, they can also help form social bonds, which can in themselves help alleviate stress and negative mental health issues.

Social Media Is The Problem Not The Cure

It's interesting that in an age when social media is so ubiquitous, there are still so many people feeling alone. In many ways it's sad that mental health issues have been put on the back-burner. Also during this age of the Covid Virus, we can see that intolerance has been rising, along with the hardening of extreme views. In many ways there seems to be a huge increase in lack of empathy. We find that escape room games and their shared gameplay can help people feel better about themselves. As the whole game functions around communication, then playing it encourages people to talk together. Simply chatting and solving puzzles as a team will bring colleagues and workmates closer. 

Escape Room Games For Increased Mental Wellbeing?

Though we run many different types of escape room games here at ExitTheRoom, we don't assume that playing an escape room game is going to cure all the problems in the world.  Likewise, we don't assume that it's going to create some sort of social utopia. But we are sure that escaping games can bring people together. Especially those who are alone or working remotely. By helping them share a common activity together and passing an hour of great fun, is to help provide an invaluable social service. In many ways, it's not surprising that Western cultures value physical health so highly. But running escape room games allows us to see that mental health issues are equally as important. To that end, we try to encourage everyone to take part in an escape room game.
 

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