|Webvilla via Pixabay|
Last year I subscribed to a meditation app. I really liked it, but paying for a subscription didn't have the impact I'd hoped for -- using it more often simply because I'd spent money on it. It was interesting for me to discover that playing my wooden puzzle game slowly and thoughtfully could have a similarly relaxing effect.
In some ways, I like it better. Though the meditation app encouraged me to notice what I was thinking, the objective was to avoid lingering on any one thought. With the game, as I investigate options with respect to where each piece should go, my mind is free to roam, making brainstorming -- whether a blog topic, a problem that needs solving, the creation of a to do list or something else entirely -- a surprising and welcome side effect.
Thanks to technology, I can dictate those thoughts even as I'm playing the game. By the time I set my iPad aside one morning last week, I had a rough draft of several blog posts, each dictated into my phone while I was putting the puzzle pieces into place. I also managed to come up with some article ideas that had previously eluded me completely.
|Skitterphoto via Pixabay|
It's a rare thing when technology actually relaxes us and inspires creative, divergent thinking instead of stress. Recognizing this side benefit of my games not only makes me feel less guilty about playing them, but also gives me a tool to use when I need to slow down my thoughts and perhaps turn them to the kind of thinking where there are no right answers and anything is possible. Thinking of my game strategically rather than simply recreationally has actually increased my interest in playing it.
Even better, it's decreased my guilt about taking some time to myself to do something unproductive because, as it turns out, it can be productive if I want it to be.