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Turing Board Game Review

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Board Game Relief : Can Board Games Improve Your Mental Health?

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14 Jun 2022 00:00 #333687 by oliverkinne
Let's look at solo games first of all. Very much...

Hobbies are known to be a way to reduce stress and can improve feelings of anxiety and depression. Board games are, of course, no different. In this article, I want to look at how playing board games can help your mental health.

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14 Jun 2022 09:28 - 14 Jun 2022 10:33 #333688 by Shellhead
There is also a theory that boardgames help stave off alzheimer's disease and some other forms of dementia. It could be the social aspect of gaming with other people in person, or it could be the meaningful decisions offered by the game itself.
Last edit: 14 Jun 2022 10:33 by Shellhead.
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14 Jun 2022 10:04 #333690 by Legomancer
As someone who recently had a mental breakdown, for me it was a non-issue. The nature of my situation was that focusing on a board game was just not going to happen. I didn't play any games for 18 months, largely because I *couldn't*. These Games Of Ours introduce a pleasant feeling of stress in presenting you with an array of decisions to make and determining which is best. Pleasant or no, I did not need to be looking for more stress.

I mention stress because when I was dealing with a mental health crisis, stress was an important factor. Because my mind seemed to be failing me and attacking me, it increased my stress level, which made my mind increase its assault against me in a vicious cycle. This wasn't an environment where I was even capable of deciding which of four cards I wanted to play, even if I wanted to.

When I started recovering it was because therapy had increased my window of tolerance to the point where I could at least make myself try gaming again. That level of fake it till you make it worked, but only because of other factors.

Now, on the other hand, what board gaming did do for me was provide a circle of friends who care about me and were there for me, even if I couldn't at the time be there for them. And when I was ready to try again, they helped me out a great deal, and their care and concern added to my ongoing therapy to help me better evaluate and refute what my brain was telling me (and ultimately reveal the true cause of a lot of my issues: my soon-to-be ex-wife). That I am grateful for.

I am now in a much better place and soon heading for an even better one, away from my ex. I leave my life with her behind, gladly, but I continue on with my friends. And I'm being up front about my hobby with any other potential romantic interests.

I wouldn't say that gaming qua gaming helped me, but the relationships I made through it certainly did.

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14 Jun 2022 13:33 #333693 by stormseeker75
Bro, I am sorry to hear about your hardships. I can relate. I'm going to threadjack just a little. Please know this is meant as solidarity and empathy and not selfishness.

I got what I thought was going to be the best job ever. I was getting promoted from a staff accountant to Assistant Controller. I bought a house and moved. I uprooted my whole life. The job turned out to be bad in so many ways which led to my quick departure. I then went to a cannabis company because I wanted to see what that industry is like. That place about killed me. I was working 60-70 hours routinely after the first two weeks. I eventually quit and have since moved on to a better job.

Once I went to the cannabis company, my desire to engage in ANYTHING causing the slightest bit of discomfort went right out the door. I stopped doing everything mostly because I didn't have the time. When I had the time, I was simply recovering and trying to feel human. It didn't work. This went on for about 10 months. I quit three months ago and am just now starting to feel like playing games will be fun. But even at that, I basically want to play party games where there's almost no rules and I can party while I do it. That's where I'm at.

I don't get relief from games EVER. They always stress me out. I used to like the stress though. I used to seek stress out wherever and engage in all kinds of activities I didn't really enjoy because I thought I had to. Turns out many things in life are actually a choice. I choose to have fun now. I choose to relax and enjoy whatever time I get with my wonderful wife and my dogs.
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14 Jun 2022 14:02 - 14 Jun 2022 14:03 #333695 by ubarose
Playing games is relaxing for me, because it is just playing. It’s silly make-believe, whether we are farming or flying spaceships or fighting monsters. Most of the time it’s just funny and we laugh a lot. But I do mostly just play with family and close friends. And we aren’t super competitive, and usually spend more time talking than playing.

A couple of weeks ago, we were playing something and Al rolled nothing but ones the entire game. We were dying laughing every time he rolled the dice.

Playing with my family during that first winter of COVID, when we were so totally isolated, and bored and, tbh, scared, and it was so dark and cold outside, definitely kept us sane.
Last edit: 14 Jun 2022 14:03 by ubarose.
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15 Jun 2022 00:09 - 15 Jun 2022 00:11 #333714 by LineOf7s
My wife has always enjoyed boardgaming because she gets anxiety when interacting with people socially. In those situations, there are unwritten rules about how to act and how to interact with others, and she doesn't know these rules well and fears the consequences of getting them wrong.

In the magic circle of a boardgame, however, everyone at the table signs up to the same set of explicit rules. This provides a clear, agreed-to infrastructure to interact with people - even strangers - within the context of an environment in which everybody there has chosen to participate. The pressure being off lets her enjoy the people even as she's enjoying the game.

When playing with friends it's even better (even if the infrastructure is still somewhat necessary), but there's no great requirement for her to have necessarily established any sort of relationship with the other players beforehand. That's what the boardgame does. :)
Last edit: 15 Jun 2022 00:11 by LineOf7s. Reason: Typos
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