Why an Escape Room helps you Escape from Stress
Written by: AMorby
Everyone knows that escape rooms are a great way to spend your downtime. A quest game to rescue a princess, escape from a dungeon or capture a lost jewel can transport you away from your everyday boredom. You might not have considered that an escape room could be the key to reducing stress and improving your teamwork skills though.
Escape rooms tap into some of our most basic instincts. Within an escapehour play session, you are trying to solve a puzzle. You might be playing as Sherlock Holmes, on the trail of Professor Moriarty or trying to break into a safe during a bank heist. No matter what locker room you are working in, your brain is working in the same way. Our brains are designed to solve puzzles and work in teams as a way of keeping us safe and getting us things like food and resources. Mimicking those activities means that there is a big neurological pay off to solving a puzzle.
When you successfully solve a puzzle, a reaction happens in your brain, in a zone called the orbitofrontal cortex. When you break out of the matrix or unlock a vault in an escape room, you get a dopamine reward. Dopamine is the 'happy chemical'. You get a boost of dopamine when you exercise, win a race, eat chocolate or get an A on an exam. Dopamine relieves stress, improves your mood and makes you feel closer to the people around you.
When a quest game boosts your dopamine, it isn't just fun, it's actually good for you. Even better, having this experience with your family, friends and colleagues will draw you all together. It could even help you work better in the future, so get yourselves straight to an escape room. Working together in an escape room is a low stakes activity, there is no fear of failure, but it could help you succeed more often in real life.
Quest games and escape rooms are the perfect antidotes to a stressful modern world. Real-life work projects and personal goals can involve long term delayed gratification, meaning it feels like all work and no play. Escape rooms are the opposite, they tie reward and fun to every single hour.
Book into an escape room in Calgary and make a step towards unlocking your brain's reward mechanism. It could be the best decision you make for yourself, your family and your team this year.