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15 Ways Playing Minesweeper Affects Your Brain & Mental Health

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Although there is not much information on how Minesweeper affects our brain and mental health, there is information on how puzzle games impact your brain. Since Minesweeper is a puzzle game, we can gain some insight into how it might affect our brains.  

Minesweepers can affect our brain and mental health in several ways. Playing minesweeper releases dopamine which can help improve our mood and focus. It can also help reduces stress and depression. In addition, playing Minesweeper might help delay the onset of dementia.

1. Minesweeper May Help Prevent Cognitive Decline

You’ve heard the old saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Well, the same can be said of our brains. Of course, you won’t physically lose your brain if you vegetate in front of your screen all day with no other form of mental stimulation. 

However, a consistent lack of mental stimulation will aid in a deterioration of cognitive function. Age-related cognitive decline is a normal aspect of human life. So it is essential to keep your brain fit and healthy – just like you would your body. 

One study shows that engaging in games that require the use of quick thinking, memory, attention, and logic can help stave off cognitive decline. As Minesweeper is a game that requires quick thinking, attention, and logic, you may find benefits for years to come.

 2. Minesweeper Activates Different Parts Of The Brain

Studies show that different types of puzzles activate different regions of the brain. The activated parts of the brain are the regions of the brain needed to play the puzzle. For instance, games that deal with logical thinking have been shown to activate areas relating to logical thinking. 

Likewise, games that deal with language have been shown to activate language areas of the brain. So, as Minesweeper is a game that requires logic, the logic processing areas of your brain will be activated. 

3. Minesweeper Releases Dopamine

After successfully solving a puzzle, dopamine is released. Dopamine is known as a feel-good neurotransmitter that plays a role in reward and motivation. In Minesweeper, you need to figure out whether each block is safe to open. 

If you miscalculate, the game is over. So, every time you successfully figure out if the block is safe, your body releases dopamine. It is no wonder why this game is so addictive.

4. Minesweeper Exercises Your Brain

Both hemispheres of your brain are activated in math-based puzzle games, meaning some regions are activated in both hemispheres. When you play Minesweeper, various parts of your brain are firing, which is like a workout for your brain. Exercising your brain and stimulating it in different regions will help to keep your brain mentally fit. 

Think about it this way; if you go to the gym, you don’t focus on working out only one part of the body. If you do, you may end up looking quite disproportionate – no one wants that! So when you exercise your body, it is important to exercise all the muscles. The same is true of your mind. 

5. Minesweeper Helps Boost Problem-Solving SKills

Playing puzzles can help improve your problem-solving skills. Thankfully, anyone can improve their problem-solving skills with a bit of practice. Puzzles require thinking of logical ways to solve the problem piece. For example, with Minesweeper, you must determine if each block is safe to open. If you miscalculate and hit a mine, the game will end.

6. Minesweeper Helps To Relieve Stress

When playing Minesweeper, our brains are focused on one thing; the game. This helps to block out all the distractions and helps us to become in a meditative state as we complete the puzzle. As a result, our stress and anxiety may decrease while playing Minesweeper. 

So, if you are feeling overwhelmed or just want to relax after a long day, try playing Minesweeper. You may be surprised at how much you can unwind. You might even find your productivity goes up once your anxiety goes down. 

7. Minesweeper Can Help With Depression

While Minesweeper is not a cure for depression, it can help relieve some of the symptoms. In addition, because Minesweeper is not an extremely difficult game, solving each block can remind you that you are capable and intelligent enough to achieve something – and an excellent reminder for those who have depression.

8. Minesweeper Switches Our Brain To Hunt Mode

When you play a puzzle that requires you to ‘hunt for a solution, your brain goes into hunting mode. The mental hunt that our brain goes into stimulates areas of the brain that involve searching for answers. 

9. Minesweeper Can Change Your Brain Activity

As you are playing Minesweeper, your brain follows a normal pathway. But when you find solving a block is particularly challenging, new parts of your brain become activated to help you solve it.

10. Minesweeper Can Help Prevent Anxiety From Worsening

Research has shown that activating areas of the brain that has to do with thinking and problem solving may help prevent the development of anxiety disorder. Thankfully, Minesweeper has a lot of thinking and problem-solving elements. Therefore, boosting cognitive function is an important factor in preventing anxiety disorders.

11. Minesweeper May Help Improve Short-Term Memory

Playing puzzle games helps to reinforce the connections of brain cells. As a result, short-term memory may be enhanced. The healthier your brain, the more benefit it will have on your short-term memory. But don’t limit your brain training to Minesweeper, though. 

Try to do a variety of mentally stimulating activities for the maximum benefit. The more you stimulate your brain, the healthier it becomes. Also, be sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get eight hours of sleep every night, as these lifestyle habits can also help improve memory. 

Also, did you know that dopamine can improve memory as well? Dopamine can make a moment more vivid and more exciting, thus making it easy to remember that moment. Because Minesweeper releases dopamine, our memory is boosted as well.

12. Minesweeper Can Help Delay Dementia

While brain games cannot prevent dementia, growing research suggests that they can delay the onset of dementia. Therefore, keeping your brain fit is vitally important. 

However, doing brain exercises that you are accustomed to or find easy may not be as beneficial. Instead, try to switch up your brain exercises. If you have never played Minesweeper before, learning it can provide a lot of benefits for the future.

13. Minesweeper Can Help Improve Concentration

As we know, playing games like Minesweeper can release dopamine. A boost in dopamine can also boost our concentration levels. Dopamine is released every time we successfully open a block in Minesweeper. As a result of this release of dopamine, we are able to focus on what we are doing and become involved in the game. 

14. Minesweeper Can Help Us Be More Present In Daily Activities

If playing Minesweeper is the only form of brain exercise you have, it is unlikely to make a huge difference in how present you are in your day-to-day activities. However, if you exercise your brain in several ways, and Minesweeper is one of those exercises, you may find yourself more present in your activities.

15. Minesweeper Can Help You Improve Cognitive Function 

Evidence suggests that playing puzzle games can help improve your cognitive function. As you are practicing logical thinking and reasoning in Minesweeper, it stands to reason that those skills will improve. 

Conclusion

Minesweepers can affect our brain and mental health in many positive ways, from relieving stress to improving logic and reasoning skills. Overall, we can help keep our brain fit and healthy by playing Minesweeper.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.