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10 Relaxing Online Games to Help Chill You Out

10 Relaxing Online Games to Help Chill You Out

Extraordinary displays of violence have been a mainstay in the video games industry for two decades now. This is proving hugely successful for games developers, and popular with players, but this form of violent escapism isn’t exactly classed as “relaxing”. Many of you out there might be after a more sedate experience, and the truth is that gaming can be a serene pastime.

The following selection of online games will help you find some inner peace; they will relax and calm, and promote stimulation for tired minds. They are all minor masterpieces of chilled-out enjoyment which can help calm you after a busy day, or hectic morning, by ridding you from the stress of modern life. It’s blissful escapism at its best, and it’s entirely free!

1. Flow

    First up is the eerie, calming experience of Flow. Starting out as a tiny organism –  basically a mouth and a torso – you have to swim around in blue gloop consuming other tiny organisms. At times you’ll find that eating something has changed your creature. Whether it’s a metamorphosis or accelerated evolution is irrelevant; after ten minutes your body will be longer, and you might have sprouted legs and other appendages and you’ll be chasing larger quarry. It’s not all forward motion; some of your soupmates will nibble bits off you too, but with some rudimentary diversionary tactics you can save your bacon. It’s lovely to play, and the music and simplistic design makes it an immediate and striking experience.

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    2. Home Sheep Home

      This sweet little puzzler is found on the Shaun the Sheep website (for those not in the know, it’s an animated series created by Aardman Animations, the people behind Wallace and Gromit). The wonderful physics engine makes this game a dream to learn as everything feels very natural; you’re supplied with three fully controllable sheep of different sizes. You have to work out how to get Timmy (tiny), Shaun (medium size), and Shirley (heavily overwight) over to the barn on the right of the screen using the swings, see-saws, ramps, steps, switches, and other paraphernalia lying around. You’ll be hooked to Home Sheep Home in no time by the adorable characters and laid back style of play, but later levels also offer quite the challenge.

      3. Flower Reaction

        Fauna-based fun abounds in Flower Reaction, where each level begins with a number of little flowers floating around the screen, bouncing off the edges. Your cursor is another flower and when you click, it stops and blooms to about ten times its size for a few seconds. Any flowers that bump into it also do the same, and any flowers that touch them do the same. The aim is to time the first one so that you get the largest chain reaction, hence the name. Several specially-coloured flowers do tricks such as lingering longer or growing massively for a second. And that’s it.

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        4. Casanova

          You’re a giraffe – at least in Casanova  – trotting eastwards as a procession of other giraffes trots westwards. Each one has a neck of a different length, and all you have to do is click and hold the mouse button to extend yours so your heads meet for a kiss! The whole point of the game is to land a smacker on the lips of the other giraffes, collecting floating bonuses along the way, whilst the 70s sitcom theme tune play jauntily in the background. It’s so adorably cute it should be illegal.

          5. Little Wheel

            Point and click games come in all varieties, but the particularly tricky and illogical ones would have no place in a relaxing game list. What makes Little Wheel stand out is the sheer beauty and atmosphere the game’s makers One Click Dog have created here. The graphics are striking enough to win awards, but the addition of a slinky jazz soundtrack sets the scene a 1920s Chicago, neo-noir theme. As for the objective, you have to work out how to get your robot across town to return power to the vicinity, although mentioning any more would spoil the experience.

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            6. Sleeping Tiger Jigsaw

              Jigsaws are, of course, world famous for their addictive nature. Sleeping Tiger Jigsaw is no different. This game is pretty much what Charles Babbage had in mind when he invented the programmable computer – a way of doing jigsaws when you haven’t got a table. it’s likely you all know how to do jigsaws so there’s no need to explain what’s going on here, so if you have an hour to spare and like a challenge, mesmerise yourself with this jigsaw puzzle. The pieces snap together satisfyingly when you place them next to a rightful neighbour, wherever they are on the screen. Nothing new, just a well executed version of an age-old pastime; get yourself a tea and listen to your favourite music as you play.

              7. Drifting Afternoon

                Here’s another Ferry Halim classic: Drifting Afternoon. As with all this maestro’s work, it’s a joy to behold, looking more like a watercolour painting than a game. The action takes place on a palpably breezy day, and you have to aim with your mouse and jump your puppy (or it could be a kitten) from balloon to balloon as they drift by, before your time runs out. You get points for landing on balloons and bonus points for jumping over them, and every so often a special balloon tops up your time – if you can land on it. No guns, no violence, just a breezy experience.

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                8. Bejeweled

                  Even though this timeless classic is over a decade old, Bejeweled gets a mention as there must still be people who haven’t played it. It’s key to success is its simplicity; all you have to do is swap the positions of pairs of jewels to make unbroken sequences of three, four or five identical jewels – they’ll disappear, spawning replacements as those above them drop into their spaces. Higher numbers get bigger bonuses and other surprises. It’s addictive stuff, and is fairly reminiscent of the legendary Tetris.

                  9. Fireboy and Watergirl

                    This puzzle game can be tricky, but it delivers on satisfaction when you do it right. The missions you face are fairly straight forward to grasp; guide Fireboy (who hates water) and Watergirl (who hates fire) around the onscreen challenges until you reach the conclusion. Expect lots of switch operating, box-pushing, see-saw running, and light-beam guiding, but also expect Fireboy and Watergirl to wow you with its laid back charms.

                    10. Echogenesis

                      Put your headphones on and immerse yourself in the wonders of Echogenesis. The visuals come from nature; swamps, forests, coves, and the like, whilst the sounds are created by interacting with the various life forms come across. It’s an immersive experience, from the beautiful graphics to the luscious stereophonic orchestration. You can’t win or lose; you just experience and influence the worlds you see, making it a relaxing tale of exploration.

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                      Alex Morris

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                      12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

                      12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

                      Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                      But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                      I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                      Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                      1. Nuts

                      The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                      Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                      Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                      Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                      2. Blueberries

                      Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                      When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                      3. Tomatoes

                      Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                      4. Broccoli

                      While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                      Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                      Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                      5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                      Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                      The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                      Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                      6. Soy

                      Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                      Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                      Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                      7. Dark chocolate

                      When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                      Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                      15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                      8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                      Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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                      B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                      Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                      Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                      To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                      9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                      Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                      Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                      Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                      10. Gingko biloba

                      This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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                      It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                      However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                      11. Green and black tea

                      Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                      Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                      Find out more about green tea here:

                      11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                      12. Sage and Rosemary

                      Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                      Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                      When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

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