By Neal - 1/28/2020
Solitaire is one of the most well-known card games in the world, but what does it do other than pass the time? Whether you're playing klondike solitaire, or other popular versions like spider solitaire or freecell solitaire, the game imparts a number of healthy psychological benefits each time you play a game.
Solitaire’s primary benefit is that it can keep you busy during times of extreme boredom. The mind grows weary and agitated if it has nothing to do, which is why Solitaire has been one of the greatest worker’s escapes since it made its way onto the Windows operating system. Escaping boredom is good no matter how you do it, as boredom can have several unhealthy side effects.
Solitaire provides you with some time to reflect by yourself. Even those of us who are more gregarious or extroverted still need time to simmer down and let the day’s interactions or decisions sink in. Self-reflection is a valuable skill and an important part of mental health. Time alone is time where your brain can truly unwind and doesn’t have to process the opinions of others, which is a form of mental stress whether you appreciate another’s company or not.
Solitaire is also a great game for calming the mind because it puts you into a light meditative state. This is especially true for those who tend to worry or suffer from anxiety frequently. Solitaire gives the mind something to focus on, particularly in times of low action when the opportunity to fret is high. Keeping calm by focusing on a low-risk game like Solitaire is an excellent way to diffuse any tension in your mind or body and help you enjoy your day or get to sleep better at night. Even better, studies have shown that entering a calm, meditative state – like the one enjoyed as you play Solitaire – can improve your decision making.
Solitaire also helps you develop your strategic muscles, as well as improving your mental functions overall. While it’s not necessarily as complex or strategy minded as something like chess, you still have to employ some manner of strategy when playing a game of Solitaire if you hope to win by something other than sheer luck. Learning the right moves and executing them correctly will result in a much better chance of victory, which not only improves your strategy making in general but provides pleasure.
Oftentimes, when starting to learn to play Solitaire, newbies will move cards around as fast as possible, buildings stacks and moving piles without any heed to overall strategy. But the better move is often to wait before moving stacks of cards around until the right opportunity presents itself. This teaches delayed gratification, which often results in a better chance to win. Delayed gratification is useful not only in personal affairs but in business or work decisions, as well. Unfortunately, not enough people learn this skill as children.
You can’t forget the primary psychological benefit of Solitaire: it’s just a fun game to play. The primary purpose of all games is to facilitate recreation, which is a fancier way of saying enjoying life. Playing Solitaire is always a great time, and it feeds the part of you that desires happiness, especially when you win. This reason, above all, is why Solitaire is stuck around for so many years.