Did you know that playing tabletop games is actually good for your mental health? In fact, it’s one of the ways that a person can actually prevent having one of those depressive episodes or panic attacks. Other than that, it’s also good for improving concentration, increasing confidence, and making your mind think faster. How, you ask? Here are some of the ways how playing table games can strengthen your mind:
1. They Allow You to Socialize
One of the worst things that you can do when you’re in a bad place is to isolate yourself. By going out and playing a game of pool or foosball with a friend or family member, you won’t think too much about your problem. You’ll also probably open up more while you’re playing.
2. They Force You to Focus
If you want to strengthen your mind and become more positive, then you have to use it often and train it. Tabletop games such as chess, boardgames, pool, and foosball require immense concentration. By concentrating on your objective and goal, you get to spin the gears of your mind and be “in the zone” while you play. Let’s take billiards for example. When you play pool, you have to focus a lot on the angle in which you hit the cue ball to the target ball so that it enters the whole. While it seems very simple, it takes a lot of brain power to make an accurate shot.
3. They Make You More Active
While not all tabletop games require movement, a number of them do. Games such as pool, foosball, air hockey, table tennis, and billiard table all require quite a bit of movement. In order to win, you may have to stretch a bit (in the case of pool or foosball) or even rapidly move from side to side (like in air hockey or table tennis). In any case, they’re a great form of exercise if you’re not really into sports such as basketball or soccer.
Of course, all know how exercise can affect our mental health. Regularly exercising can activate more dopaminein the brain, giving us a higher sense of pleasure. Since these games can be regarded as a form of exercise, they can actually alleviate stress and anxiety.
4. They Improve Critical Thinking
As mentioned above, you’ll be using a lot of brain power when you play these games. Take note that these games aren’t all about athletic ability. Billiards, for instance, requires analysis on anglesand possibly some geometric concepts. Foosball and air hockey require quick decision making and strategy. Chess requires knowledge of the human psyche and strategy. Basically, you won’t win in any of these games if you don’t really use your head. In a huge way, these games can actually improve your cognitive ability as a whole.
5. They Make You Have a Sense of Control
This is one of the most interesting benefits that tabletop games have to offer with regard to your mental health. According to research by Catherine E. Ross and Jaya Sastry on The Sense of Personal Control, many people blame external forces and factors for whatever is happening in their lives. To put it simply, they feel that they do not have personal control over whatever happens to them. On the other side of the coin, there are people who do believe that everything with regard to themselves are in their own control. Their own actions influence whatever happens to their situation.
What makes this interesting is that games like these actually increase sense of personal control. If you think about it, every decision that you make in the game affects the outcome. Take for example, if you play chess. If you move your rook in a certain way, you may eat one of the pieces of your enemy or have the risk of getting eaten. In any case, the outcome is solely on you.
While playing these games, don’t think you immediately have a sense of personal control over your life, they help increase that sense, which will aid you when you’re making important decisions at a crunch.
As you can see, there are many ways how playing table games can strengthen your mind. Playing tabletop games is actually a great outlet for those who are feeling stressed, burnt out, depressed, or anxious. Other than the fact that they distract you from whatever problem you’re currently facing, they can also help strengthen the mind.
By strengthening your mind and improving your skills in your game, you will not only get better cognitive skills, but you’ll also have higher self-confidence. Being in the zone, gaining sharper thinking skills, and gaining higher confidence is definitely good for your mental health and will help you with any mental health problems.
So if you’re always burnt out or anxious, maybe it’s time that you get yourself a hobby. Why don’t you try some tabletop games? They’re beneficial for your health and a lot of fun.