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7 Surprising Mental Benefits of Card Games

Card games are so much more than a way to pass the time. Although often hidden, there are numerous psychological, emotional, and overall mental benefits of card games.

From a better outlook on life to keeping your mind sharp, playing card games can benefit your mental wellness in a multitude of ways.

But first, a quick question: When was the last time you played a friendly game of cards?

Our society is going through a mental health crisis of unheard-of levels. Every bit of help counts – even if it’s in the form of a weekly card game.

For many of us, it’s been a long time! And you know why? Because somewhere along this road called adulthood, someone – somehow – convinced you that play shouldn’t be a part of it. It’s called child’s play for a reason.

But that joy of playing games doesn’t magically go away when we age. We merely ignore it because that’s what being an adult means – or so we’re told.

Reconnecting with the long-forgot childlike aspects of yourself through card games does have its benefits, though!
 
 

Here Are 7 Psychological, Social, and Mental Benefits of Card Games That You Should Know:

 

1. You Learn New Skills

Something as seemingly trivial as playing card games online is never an actual waste of time. You’re doing something you enjoy – that alone is reason enough to play.

But here’s the thing with card games: The games look deceivingly simple, but can take a lifetime to master. And even when you’re well-versed in the rules, it never really gets boring. You never stop improving because you’ll never play two games that are precisely the same.

And nothing beats learning, growing, and developing new skills – especially when you’re in for a lifetime of enjoyment.
 

 
 

2. You Get a Mental Health Boost

Self-care plummets to the bottom of your list of priorities when you’re feeling down. It’s hard to find the motivation for the basics, let alone more than that.

Yet, that’s when nurturing and nourishing your mental health matters most.

What do card games have to do with mental health, though?

It’s a low-stake leisure activity filled with chatter and laughter that’s bound to leave you in a great mood long after it ends.

Our society is going through a mental health crisis of unheard-of levels. Every bit of help counts – even if it’s in the form of a weekly poker night or an online card game.

8 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health Today (And Keep It That Way)
 

3. Learn Lessons in Patience, Concentration, and Discipline

Card games can keep you laser-focused for hours on end, without you realizing it. You get caught up in the game and forget about everything else.

At the same time, it requires patience – a virtue that, these days, feels like a rarity – to avoid rash decisions that could very well cost you the game.

Then, there’s weighing your every choice, calculating every risk, waiting for that one card, and then making that all-important move.

How’s that for putting your patience, concentration, and discipline to a serious – yet oh-so-entertaining – test?
 

4. Unwind and De-Stress After a Long Day

Wake up, go to work, eat, do chores, sleep, repeat. Have you ever made it to the finish line of an incredibly stressful, seemingly never-ending day and wondered: Where did the day go?

That’s stress working its – and I say this in the most sarcastic way possible – “magic” on your mind and body.

I can’t promise you playing cards will make all your worries go away, but with cards on the table and your mind focused on your next move, there won’t be room in your mind for negative thoughts.

Sometimes, hitting “pause” on stress is all you need.

Need some more “pause” on stress? Try this All Levels Gentle Yoga Flow to Decompress, Destress, and Feel Good (Free Class)
 

5. Card Games Keep Your Mind Sharp (At Any Age)

A good game of cards is fun, whether you’re 7 or 97. But the mental gymnastics that go with it can be incredibly beneficial for older adults in particular.

As we age, our brains do, too. Cognitive and social engagement has a crucial protective role against age-related cognitive decline.

Mental strain is the key to a healthy brain.

Strategizing and problem-solving is at the very core of card games, with math and reasoning sprinkled on top. Even something as basic as learning the rules can strengthen cognitive skills and boost your memory.

You know what they say: Mental strain is the key to a healthy brain.
 

6. Brush Up on Your Math Skills and Logical Thinking

Did anyone else get yelled at in high school for playing cards in class? No? Just me?
Oh, well, that’s awkward. Not for me, I mean – for you. 😉

It turns out playing card games can make you smarter. Yup, you read that right – smarter.

In addition to improving motor skills and reducing the risk of dementia, playing cards can improve your math and strategic thinking skills, regardless of age.

Think about it: Quick wits, mental math – something most of us rarely get to use in day-to-day life – logical thinking; playing card games challenges your mind.
 

 
 

7. Fight Loneliness and Improve Your Social Life

In this fast-paced world you and I both know and live in, loneliness has become a terrifyingly familiar experience. The ongoing pandemic – and social isolation that comes with it – aren’t doing any of us any favors in that department either.

There’s a hidden opportunity for social engagement in playing card games, though – even if it’s online, with total strangers.

I mean, games are how we all first learned to socialize and build relationships as kids. There’s no reason why it wouldn’t work now.

Play cards with someone, experience the mix of teamwork and friendly competition, and the effortless conversation flow – and then try to tell me I’m wrong.

Struggling with loneliness now? Here are 10 Daily Reminders to Support Your Mental Health During Challenging Times
 
 

Ready for a Game of Cards? The Takeaway on the Mental Benefits of Card Games

So, there you have it. It turns out playing card games does more for you than kill some time between dinner and bedtime.

Seriously, though: The next time you’re about to play a game of cards – be it online or offline – remember that you’re not only passing the time. You’re doing something good for your mental health.

Oh, and by the way, National Card Playing Day is coming up on December 28. It’s the perfect opportunity to play a round or two of one-player card game classics.

But because, you know, it’s 2020 and social distancing is still a thing, we can still play solitaire for the win!

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