Can Solitaire Games Improve Your Sanity?
Also known as Patience, Cabal and Klondike Solitaire This single-player card game first appeared in Europe in the early 18th century. The oldest known collection of puzzles was published in Russia in 1826. Similar games soon appeared in Germany, France and Scandinavia.
The Scandinavian version is called Cabale, and Cabale means secret knowledge in French. The secret knowledge revealed through the cards was used by ancient seers in divination to answer important questions and provide basic guidance.
When Windows 3.0 was released in 1990, a free version of Solitaire was installed in its operating system to make it easier for users to navigate with the mouse. Since then, Solitaire has been an online hit. It was recently inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
Solitaire: Because it’s good for you
Games like Klondike Solitaire can improve your mental health by helping you relax and unwind. There are also other advantages:
Many mental disorders are triggered by extreme stress and anxiety. If you focus on it, you will feel overwhelmed, helpless, angry, powerless, and bullied.
When you’re focused on solving a solitaire deck, you’re taking actionable steps to achieve a given goal. It makes you feel empowered, and the stronger you feel, the less likely you are to have a panic attack.
Getting through a day of heavy brain fog can be a frustrating experience. Clear thinking is essential for making informed decisions. Fuzzy thinking can distort your perception and cause you to make poor judgments. A solitaire session can help clear the cobwebs.
Improves organizational skills
Solitaire challenges you to bring order to chaos by moving a random distribution of cards into four ordered decks. Since every game is different, you will be constantly challenged to implement new strategies.
Winning this game can be very comforting when you’re feeling off balance, incompetent, or brain dead.
Klondike Solitaire, also known as Patience, is not an easy game to win. You can play game after game and lose every time. In this situation, you must be patient and take advantage of every opportunity the cards offer you.
To improve your solitaire experience, you can use the undo button to find out which moves would work best in the current tableau. However, there is no way of knowing if these plays will be beneficial later in the game.
The saving grace is that when you win, you win more than enough to make up for all the games you lost.
Lift the mood
Short sessions of solitaire can clear your mind, calm your mind and improve your mood. Playing the game reduces anxiety and helps you feel calm and focused. When anxiety and stress are reduced, you can’t help but feel better.
According to Psychology Today, solitaire helps players get into a state of flow. “Flow is a cognitive state in which one is completely absorbed in an activity—from painting and writing to prayer and surfing. It involves intense focus, creative engagement, and a loss of time and self-awareness.”
Solitaire helps players develop short-term memory. Researchers tell us that people who play games can learn, iterate, store, and review data faster than those who don’t.
Expands observation skills
Missing a move in Solitaire because you can’t see it is more common than you think. It’s entirely possible to miss moves that are literally staring you in the face.
Not making a crucial move because you can’t see it can keep you from winning the game. It all depends on how the missed games affect the current layout of the cards.
To be an effective solitaire player, you need well-developed observation skills. You must be aware of all possible moves at all times.
Researchers have found that solitaire can improve mindfulness by putting you in a meditative state. Mindfulness means being fully present in the now moment and aware of your actions and your surroundings.
Mindfulness can reduce work-related burnout, improve overall mental health, and help you make more informed decisions. These results have been well documented by researchers.
In a study at the University of Amsterdam, researchers compared mindfulness qualities such as observation, awareness, and descriptiveness to creative qualities such as inventiveness, flexible thinking, and innovation.
In the first study, students with high attention levels had fewer new ideas on awareness and lower scores on originality.
In a second study, the team examined how observation skills, descriptive power, and nonjudgmental acceptance interact with creativity.
They found that strong observational skills were associated with creativity, originality, and flexible thinking. Descriptive skills and nonjudgmental acceptance did not impact creativity or originality.
Two additional studies published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin showed that individuals with strong observational skills had higher levels of creativity.
The researchers emphasized that only certain characteristics of mindfulness are said to increase creativity. If you want to be more creative, focus on sharpening your observational skills. Avoid practicing full awareness. It can exhaust your creativity instead of expanding it.
Regularly engaging in mindful activities like solitaire can reduce anxiety, relieve depression, and alleviate stress. Creative pursuits that encourage mindfulness can even help you safely process trauma. A game of solitaire takes us away from the world for a while and it makes us feel better. The better we feel, the healthier we become.
Can I get addicted to Solitaire?
An addiction is behavior that persists even though it has serious consequences for you and your loved ones. You want to stop but you can’t. Real addiction controls your life. It drives you and you can’t do anything about it.
Christopher Ferguson, a clinical psychologist at Stetson University, reminds us that although it’s easy to confuse the two, there’s a big difference between passion and addiction.
Before you decide to give up solitaire because you might become addicted, remember that this game offers advantages that you won’t have from watching TV.