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14 Ways Playing Solitaire Affects Your Brain and Mental Health

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

Gaming, for the most part, gets unfavorable criticism as it is normally viewed as a ‘time-wasting exercise’ that adversely impacts our emotional well-being. However, not all video games are bad. Did you know, for example, that there are proven psychological health benefits of playing games such as Solitaire? 

Yes, playing Solitaire can affect your brain and mental health both positively and negatively. Playing for short periods of time can actually improve memory, reflexes, focus, and mood. On the other hand, playing too much can result in unwanted stress, fatigue, and tired eyes. 

Let’s face it, after a tough day at work, there is nothing like a quick game of Solitaire to take your mind off things and help you relax. People all over the world have been playing variations of Solitaire games online and offline to help lighten their mood and help them reboot and refresh.

Whether you play Solitaire when you’re feeling nostalgic or have just been doing it as part of your daily routine since you were a kid, there are several ways the game might be affecting your brain and mental health. 

1. Helpful Mental Activity

Very much like physical exercise assists with keeping our bodies in shape, mental exercises assist with keeping our psyche in shape. Games like Solitaire can actually prove to be a helpful mental activity when you just need that quick break to take your mind off things. 

Any game that makes you think on your feet, like Solitaire, will help keep infirmity under control. 

2. Stress Relief 

Dissimilar to what many individuals believe, gaming is anything but a waste of time. Truth be told, it is perhaps the most ideal way to relax and destress. When you start a game of Solitaire, it’s just you and the game. Things are simple – win the game in the shortest time possible. A welcome change from the complexities of daily life.

3. Builds One’s Resilience

Assuming you have significant familiarity with gaming, you realize that most times, it doesn’t take just a single attempt to learn and turn into an expert at a specific game. Indeed, even games that appear to be simple, like Solitaire, expect you to have persistence.

Figuring out how to adapt to disappointment and misfortunes is among the psychological health advantages of playing Solitaire

You know that to dominate a match, you will presumably have to play a few times, attempt various strategies, and not surrender – very much like you ought to do in your real life when you experience difficulties.

4. A Solid Counter To Boredom

If you’re home alone, free at the office, or need to pass some time, hop on Solitaire! The game will keep you occupied and entertained even if you are playing on your own. Every game is essentially a challenge to yourself. Is today the day you beat your high score?

Playing Solitaire engages you and keeps your senses drawn in, and without knowing it, hours will pass by without you losing interest in the game.

5. Improves Memory

While you might consider Solitaire as simply one more fun method for killing time, studies demonstrate that gamers can actually learn, cycle, store and review data faster than non-gamers. 

Developing short-term memory is among the mental advantages of playing Solitaire. This is on the grounds that while playing Solitaire, you frequently need to recall the grouping of cards. Knowing what cards are still likely in the stockpile and planning your moves accordingly can help you dominate a match. 

Playing any type of puzzle game that involves quick thinking will help improve memory. Solitaire just happens to be one of the better games for this.

6. Mental Skills Development 

You foster numerous psychological abilities while playing Solitaire. Focus, planning, coherent reasoning, objective setting, and critical thinking abilities are but a few of the mental advantages of playing Solitaire. 

Prior to moving any cards, you need to focus, ascertain the risks implied, and realize how that specific move will assist you with accomplishing your ultimate objective.

Playing Solitaire is an effective method for practicing your mind since it moves you to consider different ways of accomplishing your ideal outcome. 

7. Solitaire Assists You With Adapting To Loneliness

Like decreasing boredom, one more of the emotional well-being advantages of playing Solitaire is that it assists you with adapting to loneliness. Being a single-player game, you don’t need anyone else to have fun and enjoy your time.

While playing Solitaire, one can be separated from everyone else without feeling desolate or alone. No one else may be by your side, but luck and skill certainly are!

8. Re-Energizing Your Brain Power

research study conducted by The University of Wisconsin-Madison proposed that gamers tend to have expanded cerebrum volume and superior memory. 

The investigation discovered that the people who played games, read books, and finished puzzles scored higher on various mental tests that were related to critical thinking abilities and memory recognition.

9. The Social Element

Despite the fact that you may not understand it, playing Solitaire practices various different interactive abilities. For example, complying with rules, fair play, and turn-taking. 

The significance of social association inside the game circle has been perceived by online casinos that currently furnish chat rooms by which players can collaborate with croupiers and different members.

10. Loosening Up 

Contingent upon how serious you take your card games, less serious games like Solitaire, and its several variants, can be played almost without thinking. Much like muscle memory, it can allow your brain to shut off and simply go on cruise control as you unwind and loosen up after a monotonous day. 

It’s likewise worth bringing up that single-player games, such as Solitaire, can assist you with loosening up in your own personal space.

11. Teaching Other Social Skills

Like board games, card games such as Solitaire and its variants teach important social skills that help out a person in different aspects of life. Whether it’s making one more observant, verbal, or patient, Solitaire teaches social skills that are utterly necessary for the daily facets of life. 

It can also foster the ability to concentrate and lengthen one’s attention span when it comes to achieving an objective. You don’t want to end a game of Solitaire unless you are absolutely sure there is no other way to win. 

12. Patience & Persistence 

There are times when one feels impatient with things or in a situation that is simply not in their control. That doesn’t apply when you’re playing Solitaire, though, as this game requires patience and persistence. 

As it is a game that has an element of luck associated with it, there could be times when there is nothing wrong with your strategy or gameplay, but rather the cards are just not in your favor. Understanding it’s not your day and the fact that you can’t win them all are also important life lessons. 

There are numerous things in life that we can’t rush. We need to look for that perfect window of opportunity when it comes to approaching any situation in order to get the outcome we need. 

13. One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Solitaire is an evergreen game that even today is played by millions around the world. It helps promote specific mental abilities (such as cognitive skills) to help you get to the next level and beat your personal high score. 

However, in this pursuit of time to beat the game as quickly as possible, we can sometimes mess up. Luckily, the game offers an undo button (a second chance). It teaches how sometimes it is important to take a step back and assess what’s next before moving forward. 

14. Solitaire Helps Calm The Mind 

Playing Solitaire likewise assists with calming our brains from the tumultuous situations of reality. It seems like meditation, as it carries a quieting and alleviating impact on our body and mind.

Whenever you are feeling anxious, overly excited, or stressed out, just hop on your preferred device and play a quick game of good-old Solitaire to help your mind reset while still staying focused and sharp. 

Final Thoughts

As you can tell from reading this article, Solitaire can have various advantages for your brain and mental health. However, just like any other game, if you develop an addiction and can’t stop yourself from playing Solitaire whenever you get the chance, this isn’t healthy or advisable. 

Playing for prolonged periods of time can have negative connotations on your physical and mental well-being. It can lead to you becoming more anti-social, moody, and distracted.

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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.