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Games for Thinkers

Games for Thinkers

Games for Thinkers

    Pastimes to Challenge and Entertain

    Thinkers relish the challenge and stimulation of brilliant games. They enjoy games for the pure thrill of exercising their minds and judgments in pursuit of victory. You can take pleasure in any number of great games. Here is a selection of recommended pastimes. Add them to your Christmas list:

    1. Chess

    Chess is the king of games. It represents a pure cerebral struggle between two minds. It teaches strategy, tactics, positional play and the benefits of absolute concentration. Every home should have a set. Every child should learn to play. Everyone can enjoy the challenge.

    2. Scrabble

    Scrabble is the classic word game. You can play it with 3, 4 or 5 people but it is ideal for couples. Luck plays a small part. You have to make the most of whatever letter tiles are in your hand using the available resources on the board. Skilled players see remarkable possibilities and know a range of obscure and short words that they use adroitly.

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    3. Monopoly

    This is the game that Fidel Castro banned when he came to power in Cuba because he saw it as a model for capitalism. There is a large element of luck but the skilled player will often triumph because he or she has focussed on the right resources and developed a set quickly. It teaches trading skills and probabilities.

    4. Bridge

    There are many great card games but surely the finest is bridge. The bidding and the play of the cards represent two different skill sets, with the play having amazing subtleties. Good players remember all the cards played and can quickly deduce the lie of the hidden cards. Most players learn whist first before graduating to bridge.

    5. Cluedo (Clue in US)

    This is a popular family game which is great fun. Can you put the clues together and figure out who is the murderer?

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    6. Backgammon

    Backgammon is an excellent game for two players with its own mixture of luck, skill and gambling. You can choose risky or cagey strategies and double the value of game on occasions.

    7. Poker

    Some people wrongly think that poker is all about bluffing. It is a highly demanding intellectual exercise in which the skilful players read their opponents. You need nerves of steel and excellent understanding of the probabilities to succeed. This is a costly game to learn and it can be dangerous but surely it is one of life’s greatest pastimes.

    8. Dingbats

    Dingbats are rebuses or visual word puzzles where you have to figure out the common phrase or word represented by what you see. The advice is to say what you see – but can you look laterally enough to see the answer?

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    9. Articulate

    This is an entertaining word game for friends and family to enjoy. You have to describe words quickly to your team members without any miming.

    10. Trivial Pursuit

    This the daddy of all quiz games. This will test your general knowledge and your ability to think in the same clever ways that the puzzle-setters use.

    11. Pictionary

    You have to draw the words in order to explain their meaning to your team mates. This will test your graphical thinking skills. It can be both frustrating and hilarious.

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    12. Charades

    Charades is a well-established game in which you have to mime the meanings of names, phrases or titles. You have to think quickly and find clever ways to get the message across without speaking.

    13. Lateral Thinking Puzzles

    Lateral thinking puzzles are strange situations where one person knows the solution and others have to ask him or her questions (for example, 20 Questions). The quizmaster can only answer, ‘yes, no or irrelevant’. You have to come at the problem from different directions, check your assumptions and put the clues together. Good fun with friends and family.

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    Paul Sloane

    Professional Keynote Speaker, Author, Innovation Expert

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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    Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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