Community members are ditching phones, tablets, computers, and TV screens in favor of the convenience of tabletop board games, at least occasionally. In an age of hyperconnectivity, unplugging for a few hours seems like a revolutionary way to explore, connect, and discover. Sales of board games and puzzles have exploded over the past few years as friends, neighbors and families discover (or rediscover) the mental and social benefits – and, sometimes, the friendly breakdowns – that come with competitive gameplay. and cooperative.
Check out five mental wellness benefits of playing board games and scroll down to find out how to join other people for board games on Asheville Community Centers.
Modern work, school, and extracurricular schedules can pose a challenge to spending time with the most important people in our lives. A long lunch with friends, a family dinner, or a coffee date with a neighbor sometimes won’t happen for weeks. However, children do not wait for dinners and formal gatherings to socialize. They do it while playing! Spending time around a table game doesn’t have to be a glitzy event that requires a lot of planning. Just introduce the game and start having fun.
Develop memory, logic and reasoning
Speaking of the power of play in child development, many popular board games can help children, teens, and young adults solve problems, make decisions, defer gratification, and deal with mistakes. Chess, Chutes and Ladders, Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, Index, Mancala, and Memory Games promote the ability to focus and concentrate for a period of time.
Many classic games like Chess, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary challenge creative and analytical thought processes, giving both sides of the brain something to do. Even just learning the rules and playing a new game can help your mind grow stronger, according to Central Connecticut State University.
Protect against dementia
Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 5.8 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, including approximately 200,000 under the age of 65. 2013 study found that the risk of dementia was 15% lower in board game players compared to non-gamers over a 20-year period, concluding that stimulating hobbies are considered possible protective factors against dementia and cognitive decline.
Although your heart may race when you’re about to swipe an ace or your blood pressure spikes in reaction to a competitive opponent, a study 2017 suggests that playing board games can help reduce stress and increase feelings of calm. Many table players say they play to relax and unwind. Of course, many board games induce endorphin-boosting laughter. Just having fun can help boost serotonin, relieve symptoms of anxiety, and increase enthusiasm in other areas of your life.
Are you looking to create new relationships around the table?
Asheville Parks and Recreation hosts organized board games and “community pick” times throughout the week during which community members can access air-conditioned community centers to play basketball, enjoy board games and cards , etc.
Twice a month, Asheville Parks & Recreation shares a resource or tip that can help in the development of intellectual, emotional, professional, environmental, financial, spiritual, physical or social well-being. For previous Wellness Wednesday articles, consult the archives.