Do you/did you play cards? Solitaire? Do you still play? If not, why?
I remember playing Solitaire on the computer was a huge thing when I was a child. Everyone’s computer arrived with it standard, built in, but then as the Internet further developed and created other distractions, it was often seen as a mode to procrastination, and playing Solitaire fell out of favor and has practically been forgotten.
On a recent trip home to my family, due to my father’s passing, I was reminded about the game of Solitaire and how soothing it was to just pass the time, physically playing it with actual cards…and then I remembered killing time, playing it on the computer in college, looking for a mental break.
Upon this revisit to Solitaire…low and behold, there is an actual psychological benefit to playing the game, which challenges and supports the mind. And yes, in general, it does help pass the time. In these anxiety riddled days of general uncertainty and delays it may be something to go back to when you need a break.
As I was playing, while at my family’s home, I felt like I had gone on much needed autopilot and my brain went into an almost meditative state where my only focus was to relax and watch the card numbers flow out and place them where they should go. It was so stress free. Yes, my mind was active, but I was relaxed. I see now why doctors recommend this for the elderly to keep their minds sharp and active. It helps with memory improvement as your recognition and ability to memorize the colors of the suits, their numbers and faces, as well as the order of the last seen cards in the Stock continues.
One of my faves to play is Tripeaks Solitaire
Analyzing all the cards in play and those in the Stockpile challenges your brain to seek out future sequences that will lead to an eventual and thus planned win. The more you play, the more you realize how much quicker you are to win the next hand. It is a positive way to competitiveness as you are your own opponent. You are consistently challenging yourself to do better and therefore increasing your capacity as a player to make decision making skills. Sort of a good lesson for life in general, when your back is up against the wall, what moves do you make?
In general, Solitaire on the computer is low stress entertainment. If you make any blunders, usually there is an “undo” button and if not, depending on the type of Solitaire you are playing, it is easy to rethink the last set of sequences that you played and begin a new strategy with the next card. Sometimes mistakes are happy accidents to winning the game in a new way. Either way, your opponent is yourself and sometimes this style of alone time is a great opportunity to clear your head.