How To Reduce Stress With Darts

How To Reduce Stress With Darts

Alex Moss |

How to reduce stress with darts

A recent survey by YouGov revealed that young people are the most stressed, with a staggering 55% of Gen Z reporting heightened stress levels. The Gen Z demographic includes those born between the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s. The weekly study is carried out to gauge the nation’s mood and the Gen Z stressed statistics placed them at the top of the list.

As a generation, Gen Z faces a unique set of challenges from climate anxiety and the cost of living crisis to a lack of socializing in key years during the Covid-19 pandemic. So how do you solve the ‘Gen Z most stressed generation’ epidemic? Our research has found that amongst the best activities to reduce stress is to play darts. Here’s why…

Gen Z: Battling stress one bullseye at a time

Luke Littler Darts

There has been a surge in younger people’s interest in darts in 2024 due to the meteoric rise of Luke Littler. The teenager captured the nation’s attention with his run to the final of the PDC World Darts Championship in January. Then aged just 16, Littler broke all kinds of records during his debut appearance in the biggest tournament on the darts calendar, and has since gone on to make more history winning events on the World Series of Darts and the ProTour, along with the lucrative Premier League title.

The London News has reported that there are now 2 million new darts enthusiasts off the back of Littler’s exploits in the World Championship. Whilst discovering the game of darts for the first time, new players both young and old have also found out about the mental health benefits that come with it. For many young people playing darts can be the answer to how Gen Z deals with stress, and for the older generation one of the calm activities for adults to combat stress.

How to destress with darts

Darts can have a positive impact on players of all ages. The Darts Corner 2024 Customer Survey revealed that 81.85% of customers believe that playing darts is a good way to improve your wellbeing. Here’s just some of the benefits there are to playing darts and why it is among the best sports that reduce stress:-

Improve your concentration and focus – To play darts it requires a lot of focus, as you need to concentrate on the targets you are aiming for on the dartboard. If you are playing a game of 501 for example, you also need to concentrate on your scores as this will help you to figure out what targets you need to hit to win the game. Focusing on darts can be the answer for how to reduce stress because the added concentration can offer some respite from any thoughts and worries in your day-to-day life.

Relieve stress while throwing darts – The rhythmic motion of throwing darts can be meditative. Darts can be one of the great calming activities and help combat the Gen Z and stress epidemic. The repetitive nature of throwing darts allows you to focus on each throw and can release endorphins, the body’s natural mood boosters, and at the same time reduce cortisol levels.

Improve your mental maths – You can exercise your brain while playing a game of darts as you are adding and subtracting the scores in your head. Working out the scores can be like a workout for your brain and is one of the activities to reduce stress and anxiety that young people can do.

Other benefits of playing darts

Social interaction – Darts can also provide people with a social outlet as it can be played in groups of friends or family or within a team, playing for your local pub or club. Joining a darts team can be a method for how to relieve stress as it encourages human connection and camaraderie.

Build confidence – Darts is a difficult game for anyone to master, but players of all levels can still experience the highs of hitting the target they are aiming for. Celebrate the small victories like when you hit the double you need or if you hit the bullseye. These small wins on the dartboard can translate to a sense of achievement in everyday life.

Keeps you moving – Darts may not be the most physically demanding sport, but it still requires you to walk back and forth to retrieve your darts from the board. It can be a subtle way to include some movement into your daily routine and a hidden benefit to playing darts for a longer period of time.

Alan Soutar: The transformative power of darts in managing stress

Alan Soutar Darts

Alan Soutar plays darts on the professional circuit whilst also working as a firefighter. ‘Soots’ shared with Darts Corner his own personal story and his experiences coaching young people at a darts academy and why darts can be classed as one of the individual sports that reduce stress.

“I have witnessed first-hand the difference darts makes to youngsters’ lives. I founded Angus Darts Academy in 2012 and ran it until 2022 with over 750 young people coming through the doors to have a go at darts. The sense of community is unparalleled in the darts world. The words “Darts Family” is always mentioned when talking about bonds and friendships created whilst attending and following darts.

“Darts is also a place to step out of your bedroom, house, home life and join the darts community and relax and enjoy social darts with friends all the way up to competing at novice level and all the way through to international selection. 12 youngsters from my darts academy achieved international caps for Scotland during my tenure at Angus Darts Academy and this allowed them to travel all over the globe to represent Scotland on the world stage.

“The social and lasting connections made through darts can and almost certainly always leads to friendships for life away from the oche also. That’s the real value of social darts. From a personal and professional point of view, I am a full-time operational firefighter and former commando soldier who has seen and dealt with some horrific incidents and harbor memories that do not leave me. Darts is my release, my place to relax and switch off from the rigors of my working life. For me the banter and camaraderie is special and something I always look forward too. I’m also very competitive and darts gives me this edge also.”

Darts mental health charities

There are several mental health charities linked with darts, including Mental Health in Darts and Darts Against Depression. These charities offer support to members of the darts community who suffer with their mental health and can be found on social media.

In 2024, some of the leading darts stars opened up on their own mental health journeys as part of a Sky Sports documentary during Mental Health Awareness Week. Premier League stars Luke Humphries, Michael Smith, Nathan Aspinall and Peter Wright spoke about their own experiences and the challenges they have each faced on their way to the top.

Watch ‘Beyond the Oche – A Look at Mental Health in Darts’ via the video below.

Destress with Darts Corner

If you are looking for fun activities to reduce stress, then why not give darts a go as a way of reducing your stress levels? Darts Corner stocks a full range of darts and accessories to help you start playing the game in no time.

Browse our entire collection of steel tip darts and find a set of darts that suits your style, and check out our selection of dartboards to get you ready with your own darts setup at home. Our ‘How To Choose Darts For Beginners’ blog is also a useful guide if you are new to darts and not sure what darts to buy.

Pictures: PDC

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