Stress is a daily fact of life in our hurried, high pressure and demanding world. We are all potentially vulnerable to its harmful physical, psychological and behavioral effects. No one is completely immune from its influence. Fortunately, mental health experts have devised a number of techniques to satisfactorily deal with stress and make life more comfortable and enjoyable. The more common methods for stress management have included activities such as progressive relaxation, breathing exercises, meditation, visualization, assertiveness training, time management, biofeedback, nutrition, exercise and engagement into a pleasurable pursuit.
Based upon my own personal experiences and observations I have found darts to be a fun, intellectually and physically challenging, highly social, inexpensive and successful way to relieve much of the stress associated with the demands of everyday living. I was first introduced to darts by a friend who bought me a dartboard, a custom set of darts and helped me mount the board on a wall in my apartment. At that time I was studying for my written doctoral exams and had to memorize dozens of theories, facts, principles and research studies. Anyone who has had the experience of such intense work will understand the stress associated with the project. I began a regimen of reviewing lists of information and repeating it for memory as I threw darts at the board. After several days of this study-throwing partnership, I found that my test anxiety was being dissipated through the physical action of repetitious motor movements. I felt relaxed, in control with a heightened sense of concentration and attention. A few months later I passed my exams with flying colors and concomitantly became an accomplished dart player. My love of the game of darts led me to others who also shared this passion. Conversations with these colleagues and numerous anecdotal accounts confirmed to me the beneficial stress relieving properties that dart throwing possessed. For me and many others, darts appears to have hit the bullseye for stress relief.