Home General How Board Games Improve Mental Health

How Board Games Improve Mental Health

Published: Last updated:
Reading Time: 4 minutes

There is a strong connection between emotional intelligence and the positive impact board games can have on our mental health. Emotional intelligence is vital for building meaningful relationships, effective communication, and successful teamwork, and it involves several key elements such as empathy, self-awareness, social skills, and self-regulation.

Similarly, board games provide a fun and low-risk way to connect with others and build relationships. They can improve our reasoning, memory, and logic, boost our brainpower, and reduce stress.

By playing board games, we can enhance our emotional intelligence by developing skills such as communication, collaboration, and problem-solving, which can have a positive impact on our overall well-being.

Make connections

Work, school, and extracurricular activities can all come in the way and be a challenge when you want to spend time with other important people.

We love spending time with people who form the most important part of our lives. A long lunch, family dinners, or dates don’t happen regularly, as unfortunate as that is. But kids are different. Children don’t usually wait for formal gatherings to socialise with others. They do it by playing. Spending time with a tabletop game doesn’t require planning. You can play them simply to have some fun. And board games, especially the ones available online make it even easier for you. Want to play a game? Just go online. Most sites don’t even require you to register on them.

Build the power of reasoning, memory, and logic

Speaking to the power of play in mental development, most popular board games like cribbage, for instance, can help kids, teens, and even older adults with decision-making, deferring gratification, and correcting mistakes. It has benefits in treating Alzheimer’s too.

Cribbage, chess, chutes, solitaire, ladders, monopoly, and memory match games help you focus and concentrate for longer. 

Play games online even without a board

Board games invariably require a board. But with the advent of the internet, smart developers started creating and sharing online versions of popular games like Cribbage and Hearts. Most sites have multiple levels of varying difficulty, giving you a core set of options that were never available offline like the ability to change background colours, add music to the game, and shift gameplay from easy to difficult while also accommodating multiple players.

Boost brainpower

Classic games like chess, Solitaire, and Pictionary challenge the creative and analytical thought process giving both sides of the brain something creative to do. Even the act of learning the rules and playing a new game can help your mind grow stronger.

Protect against dementia

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 5.8 million people in the US have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The risk of dementia was 15% lower among players of board games vs nonplayers in research conducted over 20 years. Stimulating leisure activities can protect you against dementia and cognitive decline.

Reduce stress

Your heart may race faster as you spade an ace but a study suggests that board games can reduce your stress by lowering the cortisol in your body and inducing feelings of calmness. Many board game players play to unwind and relax. It stimulates endorphins. The simple act of fun can boost serotonin levels and increase enthusiasm in other areas.

Looking to make new connections around the table?

Kids spend 8-plus hours on the screen. It’s not easy to find screen-free time and give them what they actually want to do. Life is busy. It feels like there aren’t enough hours to get things done, much less set aside time for board games.

For years studies have touted the benefits of board games for combating stress and loneliness and contributing to positive mental health. Board games are powerful in this way.

Board games keep us social

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, having social interactions is generally good. Many of us experienced what it was like without that during the pandemic and during the time board games shot up in popularity.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, it’s good to have social interactions with It all helps us enjoy quality time together.

Board games promote play

Play is helpful for kids to learn better and retain the information they learn. The benefits of play aren’t just limited to childhood. It helps us reduce stress, improve well-being and lead to general overall happiness too.

Board games help us connect in new ways

Shared experiences bring us all together no matter what our age or background. This is similar to the benefit of board games. We build new relationships with people we don’t know well. We get to know people we already know.

Final thoughts

board games are more than just a fun pastime; they have a significant impact on our mental health and well-being. They can help us build connections, boost our brainpower, reduce stress, protect against dementia, and promote play.

Board games provide us with an opportunity to socialise with others and connect in new ways, making them a valuable tool for combating stress and loneliness. Whether we play with family, friends, or strangers, board games have the power to bring us together and improve our mental health.

So, next time you’re looking for a way to unwind and have some fun, consider playing a board game and reaping the benefits it can provide.

Jordan Wayne, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd