How Do Board Games Reduce Stress? 8 Ways

Board games are an incredible way to engage a group of people for a few hours, and they also have a positive impact on your wellbeing by reducing stress.

There are hundreds of board games that you can find out there, from simpler ones like Ludo and Checkers to more complex ones like Chess and Monopoly. As we speak, they are being sold by the millions, and they are known to uplift people’s spirits by keeping them engrossed in a group activity.

Whether you play with your family, friends, or even strangers at a club or social gathering, you will certainly feel less stressed and more joyous as the game progresses. Even though board games are largely competitive and require a lot of strategy and planning, they allow you to have a good laugh and unload any tension you may have.

According to a research, board games have also been used in conjunction with psychosomatic medicine in health education and treatment, and they bring about a positive change in people with cognitive disorders or health issues. Let’s go further to see how board games help us relax and relieve stress.

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Board Games Ensure Fun Family Time

One of the greatest benefits of board games is that it allows you to enjoy a good bonding moment with your family. All board games require two or more players, and some also allow you to make teams of 3 to 4 players, which means that even 10-12 people can play together. So, when you are huddled around a board game with the closest people in your life, you actually get to strengthen your bond with them.

Nowadays, every person has a different schedule with no room for family time, which is mainly why people drift apart from each other. The trend of living separately has also taken a toll on family bonding, and it can also be a major source of stress for parents, as well as their kids. Through board games, the entire family can reconnect and share some joyous moments with one another, which help rekindle their love for each other.

Even if you have to play with a person that you have fallen out with, or someone you frequently lock horns with, you will forget all about your rivalry when you sit together over a board game, because it will keep you engrossed for hours, and maybe even help repair your broken bond with that person. Stress often makes people do things they wouldn’t do normally, so once your stress starts to wear off, you can think clearly and also ponder upon your past actions.

So, the next time you visit your parents or have a family reunion, or you are stuck at home and feeling mellow, just pull out any board game you have, and you will notice that anybody would hardly say no to a board game. It is a well-researched fact that people tend to gravitate towards board games, mainly due to their competitive nature.

Board Games give You a Good Feeling

Board games largely contribute to decreasing stress because they allow you to have fun and feel good for a couple of hours, whether you are playing with family members or friends. Normally, when a board game is going on, there is a lot of chatter and laughter, because you can’t have a board game without people joking around and even roasting each other. This makes it the perfect remedy for stress, no matter what you are going through.

When you laugh, your body releases endorphins, which are chemicals formed in the body to relieve stress and pain. No matter how stressed or upset you may be, you will instantly crack up when you are playing a board game with your loved ones, and you will have an elevated mood throughout the day. Most board games are designed to last for hours, which make them the perfect bonding agent for families and friends, especially when they are together and have nowhere to go.

So, whenever you are feeling low or stressing over a bad grade or unforeseen circumstances, whip out your board games and call over a couple of friends. In no time, your stress will be alleviated and you will start feeling more relaxed, both mentally and physically. It also works if one of your friends is going through a rough patch and can’t be comforted otherwise.

Board Games Help Combat Loneliness

Naturally, people are more stressed when they are lonely, i.e. they live alone and have no one to talk to or seek help from. People who live alone often distance themselves from other people, which also make it difficult for them to open up and express their feelings, particularly when they are asked what seems to be bothering them.

You don’t even have to be alone to be lonely. Some people, who even live with their families, tend to become distant and silent, and they are unable to tell their loved ones about their stress. If you know someone who acts like this, or you are experiencing this yourself, board games play a vital role in helping people manage their stress without breaking down.

Since board games are an interactive group activity, even the loneliest of people start to enjoy them and lower their defenses, which enable them to forget about whatever causes stress in their lives for a while. Their entire focus is drawn to the game and the free flowing conversation that ensues. As a result, they also become more expressive. 

If you want someone to open up and share their feelings, use a board game to draw them in. Once they start feeling more comfortable and are engrossed in the game, you will find it easier to get through to them. Such people can’t ask for help directly, and they need a little support to reach out.

Board Games Help You Put the Phone Away

Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and televisions – that is all our lives have become nowadays. Even the children of today’s generation know how to operate a smartphone and access their favorite content within seconds. The use of social media is becoming more of an addiction, and people feel that they need to check up on what other people are doing every five minutes or so. 

By comparing themselves to celebrities and successful people on social media, most people start undermining themselves, which also leads to a lot of stress about trying to become better and failing repeatedly. As a consequence, many people don’t do anything to make themselves feel better, and they spend more time self-loathing than doing anything to improve their own selves.

Increased screen time also leads to a wide range of health issues, such as insomnia, lack of focus, obesity, and many others. By indulging in board games, you get an opportunity to put the phone down for a while and enjoy the activity in front of you. Moreover, if you play with your friends or loved ones, they can encourage you to put your phone away and resist the temptation to check it every few minutes. 

Not only do board games help you limit your screen time, but they also prove beneficial in improving your concentration. Nowadays, even kids are facing health problems due to excessive screen time, and you can also indulge them in board games to show them that there is a whole fun life that exists out of the screens of their televisions and smartphones. The best part is that you don’t even have to scold or punish them to draw them away from the screens. Simply set up a board game, and they will come running.

Board Games Help You Create Happy Memories

Sometimes when you are feeling down and there is no one to cheer you up, a happy thought or memory is enough to do the trick. When thinking of happy memories, our mind is instantly drawn to our childhood, especially the moments that we spent with our family. If you think about it, you will have at least one recollection of a time when you played board games with your family.

With everyone gathered around the board on a table or on the floor, there is a lot of fun and activity going on, which means that no one is ever bored or unoccupied. The game also keeps you thoroughly involved, so that you don’t find the chance to feel stressed or ponder over your life’s problems, which can bring you down instantly.

If you are looking to make more happy memories with your family, friends, and loved ones, all you need is a fun board game, and that’s it! The game will do most of the work for you, and you just have to set it up by following the instructions that come alongside it. Unknowingly, you will be so engrossed into the game that you won’t realize how much fun you are having, and you will also be able to create lasting memories that you can always cherish and recall whenever you are feeling stressed or upset.

Board Games Give You an Escape

Today’s world is fast-paced, and people also have to keep moving rapidly to stay in the race. Since every person has their unique traits and character, it can be difficult for most people to adapt to this environment, which is why they start stressing over the little things in life. People are so preoccupied with making money and leading a good lifestyle that they forget all about the good things in their lives already. As a consequence, they start getting depressed and stressed, which also takes a toll on their mental and physical health.

The more stressed you become, the more you are to spiral down into depression and anxiety, which can be disastrous for your mental and physical wellbeing. It is at this junction that most people think about seeing therapists and taking medication, whereas the solution is right in front of them all along. 

By playing board games, you can divert your attention from all the negative things happening in your life, and you gravitate towards the fun and positivity-infused environment that is in front of you. Plus, the company of your family members and friends is always a wonderful pick-me-up and can uplift your spirits.

Therefore, by indulging in board games, not only do you channel your energy towards a positive and fun activity, but you also equip yourself with the tools that you need to cope with whatever life throws at you. Moreover, once your mind is diverted, you start to find happiness in the smallest things, such as the moments spent with your family or friends, or a winning streak in your favorite board game.

As mentioned above, board games have also been used for health education, and also to treat patients with different types of physical and mental health issues. If it can work wonders for those people, why won’t it work to reduce your stress?

Board Games Help Refresh Your Mind

Whenever people are faced with a big or small problem in life, their mind tends to get transfixed upon it. Rather than trying to find the solutions to the problem, they let it inhabit their mind, and all their thoughts are centered on the problem from then onwards. Due to this, it also becomes difficult for them to focus on other things.

Most people are workaholics, which makes them stress over the smallest of details regarding their work. Such people often get agitated and irked when things don’t turn out the way they have planned, and it causes their stress levels to increase, along with their pulse and blood pressure. They forget what it means to have a good time and unwind, and they start to believe that this is how their lives are supposed to be from now on.

In such moments, having a positive and engaging activity is highly beneficial to refresh your mind, and there is no better way to do so than by playing board games. No matter which board game you like to play, sharing a fun session with your loved ones will not only boost your morale, but also clear up your mind. As we already know, laughter is a very strong remedy when it comes to de-stressing yourself.

When you play board games, you do away with the negative thoughts in your mind and make way for positive thoughts. Moreover, you also prevent overthinking by keeping yourself busy with board games, and this helps you look at the bigger picture, rather than stressing on a small problem in your life.

When you think positively, your brain starts to release endorphins and serotonin, two chemicals that are responsible for making a person happy. On the other hand, stress-related thoughts facilitate the release of adrenaline and cortisol, which is popularly known as the stress hormone. The buildup of cortisol can have a severe impact on your mental and physical health.

Therefore, board games play a major role in reconditioning your mind to think positively, and you may be able to find the solution to most of your problems when you are thinking clearly. They also help you unwind and shake off your burden completely, which also brings about productivity boost.

Board Games Teach You about Competition

Like we said before, life is more like a rat race and everybody is out there to compete against one another, because of which people have stopped enjoying the finer things in life. Now, their focus is on being better and staying ahead of everyone else, which is the measure of success in today’s world. Unfortunately, this mindset also comes with its set of problems.

The more competitive people become, the more they start to develop health issues. This is because they are in a state of constant stress, and their brain is actively releasing cortisol in their body, which also elevates their heart rate and activates their “fight or flight” instinct. As a result, they see everyone as a potential rival, and fail to foster any meaningful relationships.

If you are one of these people, or know a friend who matches this description, board games can actually work wonders for you. Not only is it a fun activity that reduces stress through laughter and bonding, but it also teaches you that you don’t always have to win in life. Rather, there are times when you may lose, but you should accept your defeat with a smile. In fact, you should even laugh when you lose!

If you apply this principle in real life, you will be able to see the world through a different lens, and you will also notice a positive change coming from deep within you.

This concludes our article on the many ways in which board games reduce stress. If you are looking for a fun activity to share with your family and friends, simply go out and grab your favorite board games. You can even kick it up a notch and introduce new board games within your family or friends circle. Learning a new game is always fun, and entire activity will be highly rewarding for everyone.

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