The last few years have seen a steep rise in people looking for more relaxing hobbies. There has been a focus on things like vinyl records and pottery, making things by hand, reading books (not on eReaders), and board games – both in-person and online are on the rise, too.
People are looking for calming and engaging ways to spend their time – because, ultimately, there is evidence to support it being good for our mental health. So, what is it that makes playing board games and other slower activities great for us?
The modern world bombards us with information all the time, and often, it can be overwhelming, to say the least. Combining the constant news coverage with social media, work on top, and all of the other demands can feel like a lot. When we play board games like chess and backgammon, it gives us something to focus on. It can be a short step between thinking about something that upsets us for a moment and dwelling on it completely. Board games can snap us out of that train of thought, though.
Not everyone is born and gets to keep hold of their confidence. For many, it can be chipped away at by ourselves or by others – leaving us feeling anxious, unsure, and with difficulty when it comes to decision making. Board games as hobbies are great because they aren’t stressful, but more so because they are a learned skill. When we learn something, we begin to become more confident. This doesn’t happen overnight, though; the more you play, the more skills you gain, and the more confident you will be in what you are doing.
Our brains and bodies are simply not equipped to deal with the stress that we put ourselves through and the world puts on us. The stress reaction is something that is meant to be short and only to get us out of perceived dangers.
However, it is now becoming more common for stress to keep increasing until it becomes what is known as chronic stress – and this quite literally puts our bodies and minds in danger. Board games are a great way to reduce blood pressure as you play – and we already know that most gamers play because it is relaxing for them.
Better Gaming Health
Because board games are high-speed (usually), they are very much into the ‘slow living’ category and work wonders for people who struggle and suffer from stress and anxiety, too. Even a tense moment in a board game where it is coming down to the wire will have more of a positive impact than a negative one.
Board games in person or online also give us the chance to build a community. While not all gaming websites will have a chat function, there are many online resources and forums that are dedicated to people who love to play the same games that you are enjoying.
For those who love nothing more than a board game with a good theme, check out our Top 6 Pirate Board Games 2023.