How Game Night Makes For Good Medicine

Thought game night was just a fun time and an excuse to get together with friends and family for a night of healthy competition? Well, you certainly aren’t wrong, but there’s so much more going on during game night that’s actually really good for you that you might not have known.

Playing board games helps to improve your quality of life on so many levels. So, the next time you’re figuring out where to buy board games for your next Game Night, get excited about all the benefits that are about to come your way.

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Board Games Exercise Your Brain

As you’ve likely heard many times over, the brain is a muscle that needs exercise like all the other muscles in your body. And while your brain gets plenty of exercise during the work week, you’re essentially working out the same part of your brain. If you don’t use it in other ways, you ignore other parts of your brain that also need to be stretched and worked. It’s like only doing chest day at the gym.

Board games are known to work the frontal lobe when coming up with strategies, and playing board games is also known to prevent cognitive decline, reduce depression, and is associated with reducing Alzheimer’s and dementia in older adults.

In fact, board games can have a powerful effect on the brain. One study showed that playing the game Pick-Klop helped alter the attitudes of smokers. Pik-Klop was designed to encourage smokers to quit without making them feel guilty while boosting their confidence in their ability to quit smoking. The results showed that it had a positive impact on behaviors that lead to quitting smoking and even increased quitting rates in smokers.

Sharpen Your Social Skills

While on the surface level, it’s known that playing games with friends builds comradery, reduces isolation, facilitates teamwork and helps improve communication skills, board games, from an early age, teach us many social skills that we can continue to develop into adulthood with a fun night of games.

These skills include:

  • Reading facial expressions
  • Understanding and predicting the behavior of others
  • Patience
  • Making eye contact
  • Playing within the parameters of the rules
  • Being a gracious winner or loser

Board Games As Therapy & Stress Relief

Along with tools like meditation and exercise, playing board games can also help in stress reduction. Playing strategy games can help distract your brain from continuing sources of stress. And while winning can certainly boost happiness, having a fun, lighthearted time creates joy. Laughter can decrease the levels of stress-inducing hormones and boost dopamine and serotonin levels as well.

Board games, in fact, have such a powerful impact on stress relief that they are often used in therapy to treat depression, anxiety, stress, and high blood pressure.

They are also used as part of physiotherapy to treat trauma and for treating people with disabilities, children, and the elderly to help with coordination, fine motor skills, and muscle and nerve function.

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