Life-is-a-game

Five reasons why playing games makes us happier & healthier.

Life-is-a-gameDarth Vader should have been playing games.  

If he did, he would have had healthier relationships and, in general, would have been much happier.  

You know anyone like Darth Vader? Life is bad, the dark side rules, they only see problems, they can’t see the forest through the trees, worry-wart, etc.

We all know people like this. Heck, I have a brother like this! It’s rare when his conversations don’t include snarky negativity. When I think back, I remember him being all kinds of fun and funny when we were kids. Incredibly competitive, but a really happy guy. Even more so in his teens when my mom kicked him out of the house one day because he was driving her nucking futs. She said, “Don’t come home until you’ve made some new friends.” Which he did, and then he was never home, and then she began begging him to stay home more… But that was a long time ago, and somewhere in his mid-30s he changed. He grew up, got all serious, and stopped, well, playing.  

Happy leads to healthy. And it just makes sense that games are a great way to turn a frown upside down. Here’s a few reasons why.

One of the best happy pills is playing games!

Yep. Who would have thought to do research on the subject, but it’s been done. There are umpteen reasons why playing games connects us and makes the world a happier & healthier place, and here are our top five.

Games connect us and make the world a happier place. tweet 

1.  Games are good brain food.

It’s a good thing when we challenge our minds and jog our noggins. When you play games (especially creative thinking games), you stimulate growth in those little things called nerves that exist in our brains. And nerves process emotions and decision making. So if everyone’s brain is getting all juiced up, imagine the energy among players. It usually manifests into a state of unstoppable laughter and connection. And when you win? That brain food turns right into self-confidence and, probably, a little peacock strut.

2.  Games connect us with our inner child.

So many of us are depressed and bored to tears with our lives. Games give us permission to be playful and silly and goofy. And that is the kind of child-like behavior among players that can turn into sheer unabridged snorting laughter. Take a look at kids and emulate their giddiness at even the silliest of games. I remember creating the ‘best fort ever’ with my twin nieces out of bedsheets and duct tape. We even added a string of twinkling lights. I think all three of us laughed ourselves to sleep that night!

3.  Games allow us to escape the drama and stress of daily life.  

Bosses, deadlines, spouses, homework, dinner, laundry, etc. All the stuff that happens every single day. We call games a ‘Calgon Take Me Away’ experience from real life monotony. Especially when we’re playing games that take you on a trip to a land far far away. There are tons of hot video games that do this, but also table top games. Experiencing that ‘escape’ with other players translates to closer connections because you’re sharing the experience together.

4.  Games help us be better friends.

Which is something Darth and his cronies really need! Sharing is caring folks! And when we’re playing games, we’re playing with friends which means we’re sharing time out of our lives together. Whether table top or online games, mutual play is a state of friendship. Think of when we started playing games. Yes, back to being kids. Most of the time they were the best games of imagination ever. And to be victorious, we were required to listen and share ideas.  We needed to take our turn and play fair. What a great way to build friendships!

5.  Laughter and the game of life.

If we’re going to get through the daily stress and difficulties, then we ought to look at life as an actual act of playing a game. If we think about it in this way it will make our tough times seem not so tough, and our good times even better. When we can do this, then we have surely advanced to the highest game level where work is play, and play is work. And that, my friends, is where the medicine called laughter allows us to live happier and healthier lives.

There is little success where there is little laughter. ~Andrew Carnegie images

 

 So get your happy on and have a game night. Or day. Or weekend. It’s good for your health! 

 

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