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Playing Solitaire
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I like to play Solitaire (the version I use is Sunitaire, also known as Klondike) to relax. More than relax. I don't have to pay much attention to it strategy-wise, since mostly it is a game of chance and I've played it for so many years that it's nearly automatic. I actually use it to help me get to sleep (at home) and between stressful projects at work to "power down" and refresh my point of view.

I think playing solitaire helps me go into an Alpha Brain Wave state, almost like day dreaming, "where the central nervous system reduces input from the peripheral nervous system." The lowering of sensory input serves to protect the central nervous system from sensory overload caused by stress.

I find that I feel half-asleep and half-awake, detached and relaxed. If I'm at work, after a few minutes of play I go back to working on projects or reports and I guess my subconscious has been busy all the meantime, because often I've come up with an idea or approach to a problem after relaxing with a game for a few minutes. I've been conscious of everything around me, but mind and body have been deeply relaxed. Sort of a waking nap.

All of that for a simple game of Solitaire.

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