Brain Game to Improve Focus and Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health problems in this world. Having an anxiety disorder is not just about being stressed or fearful, it’s about constantly being in a state of worry without any substantiating reason for it. This can have a major impact on the functionality of an individual, affecting their work, relationships and their health in general. Research now claims that anxiety is linked to distraction, with higher tendencies to get distracted being associated with higher levels of anxiety. This naturally paves the way for using tools for improving focus and attention as a means of dissipating anxiety. One such tool is brain training game developed by Jason Moser, a researcher at Michigan State University.  In this simple, yet targeted game, the player is initially set a focus task wherein they have to identify a specific shape among a collection of shapes, for e.g. a red circle among red squares, triangles and rhombi. Then they are confronted with a distraction task where different colors of shapes are introduced. The study showed that after playing the focus task the players had improved concentration and lower levels of anxiety, which persisted even after the distraction task. In a world that is rife with distractions, this simple game may be the key to reducing anxiety by helping people focus and pay attention.

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