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Sami 04-15-2006 01:01 AM

Feeling Stressed? MSN Games and Work-Life Balance Expert Say, “Pause to Play”
Have you noticed that everyone seems stressed out these days? From simultaneous cell phone use and driving to road rage, manic family meals and the effects of “PDA thumb,” Americans are multitasking themselves into tension-produced oblivion. In fact, as many as 90 percent of primary care physician visits in the U.S. are stress-related,* which means that many Americans need to make relaxation a priority. Because, for most of us, regular spa vacations are out of the question, MSN® Games has teamed up with Dr. Kathleen Hall, a renowned stress expert and authority on work-life balance, to create the Pause to Play initiative. Being launched today in conjunction with Stress Awareness Month, Pause to Play ( is a month-long program to raise awareness about the simple solution of taking periodic mental breaks to achieve a better work-life balance.

“I often counsel my patients on simple steps they can take to reduce stress in their lives, and one of those is giving your brain a breather every now and then,” said Hall, founder of The Stress Institute Inc. “Taking 20 minutes or your lunch hour to solve an engaging puzzle or take on a fun vocabulary challenge with any of the hundreds of games on MSN Games is a perfect way to clear your mind of the clutter and stress that can pile up during the day.”

MSN Games worked with Hall to develop tips that provide users with quick and easy ways to help reduce stress:

• Just breathe. Repeat a short phrase or affirmation combined with slowed breathing to release healing hormones and help increase productivity.
• Laugh a lot. Encourage humor as a way to release endorphins, lower blood pressure and boost immune function.
• Feed your brain. Embrace online casual “brain food” games, such as “Hexic®” and “Mah Jong Tiles,” which can be found on MSN Games (, as a quick mental escape and fun new way to exercise your brain.

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