The Emotional and Mental Health Benefits of Playing Card Games
For centuries, card-related games have catered to different types of people all around the world. For some, they have become a good way to relax and unwind in a social setting. For others, they represent a way to hone their competitive edge and get the adrenaline juices flowing. However, research suggests that there could be a number of hidden benefits to playing card games relating to our mental health and emotional wellbeing. With modern society facing a mental health crisis on an unprecedented scale, we need every bit of help we can get and with this in mind, we've detailed some of the aforementioned benefits of card games in the hope that we can persuade more people to get their deck out.
Expanding Your Brain Power
Research from The University of Wisconsin-Madison back in 2014 suggests that card games are linked to increased brain volume and an improved memory. As documented here by Alzheimer's UK, the study involved a group of 329 healthy people with an average age of 60 and who were considered to be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other dementia related illnesses. The study found that those who played card games, read books and completed puzzles scored higher on a number of cognitive tests relating to thinking skills and memory, as well as healthier-looking MRI scans.
The Social Element
Although you may not realise it, playing card games exercises a number of different social skills such as obeying rules, honest play and turn-taking. The importance of social interaction within the card game sphere has been recognised by online casino platforms, who now provide chatrooms whereby players can interact with croupiers and other participants. In addition to this, those suffering with autism or similar disabilities benefit hugely from the social interaction that one can enjoy by playing card games in a casual setting. Some card games can even improve self confidence; by allowing everyone to compete on an equal standing, card games help break down the barriers that sometimes prevent us all from enjoying life as we are meant to.
Unwinding and Relaxation
Depending on how seriously you take your card playing, less competitive games such as snap and crazy eights can almost be played on autopilot, giving your brain time to relax and unwind after a long day. It's also worth pointing out that one player games such as solitaire can help you gather your thoughts and recharge your mental batteries. With the hectic lifestyles that the majority of us lead, a break from the furore of everyday life is most welcome and you could do much worse than get out your deck of cards and have at it.
Ready For a Game?
Ultimately, card games are another form of entertainment and the end goal is and always will be to have fun. In the present day, we all seem to be glued to our phones or tablets and so what better way to break away from your computer screen and come back to the real world for a brief period. The fact that playing card games also has a positive impact on your mental wellbeing may just give you the motivation you need to dust off your old deck and start playing.
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