Can chess help you relax? Can it help you unwind after a long and hard day at work? Many people know chess as this really stressful and competitive time critical game with high stakes. Most videos involve players rapidly making moves to beat the chess clock and checkmate their opponent as soon as they can. If not a checkmate, many players win on time. Even a draw results after a fierce battle of dominance among both players. However, let me preface this article by mentioning that we are talking about non-competitive chess here. We are talking about kicking back in your chair on a lazy Sunday, enjoying the game with your friends and family during high tea. Look no further as we explain how chess can help you relax!
It is an essential tool that helps people from all age groups improve discipline, focus, concentration and patience. It is interesting to know that these skills are also developed when people do yoga. Along with these skills, a player develops strategic thinking and reaps the benefits of forethinking. These benefits extend to all age groups, helping people cope with all sorts of mental disorders. Let’s look at some of the factors that help you relax while playing non-competitive chess.
Rejuvenation helps in relaxation
In today’s fast paced world, most people do not have time to relax. To be overworked for six days a week and then be surrounded by household chores on the seventh day is definitely not an ideal setup. Maybe that is why wellness retreats and stress busting camps have gained so much popularity in recent times. For those of you who do manage to take out some time on a Sunday, chess can be a great tool to relax. It offers a break from the regular monotony of life and encourages positive thinking.
It is also seen as a form expression through the kinds of moves that a player makes. For example, a player in distress might have the urge to go on an attacking spree in chess. This would obviously entail consequences; such is the case with life as well. As you can see, it helps rejuvenate a person and encourages them to spend more time with family and friends.
Mental Health benefits
Mental health is probably one of the most ignored illnesses among our population. It is definitely not treated with the same concern or attention as garnered by people suffering from other illnesses. So, what can a person in mental distress do in such times? Of course, seeking professional help is vital and must be done as soon as possible. Unfortunately, making these resources accessible to everyone is not possible as of yet. In these times, people may take advantage of chess therapy. Several well documented cases prove that playing chess eases mental distress in patients suffering from conditions of anxiety, depression, ADHD and many more. The benefits of playing chess are analogous with those of yoga. While yoga is difficult in a confined space, chess can come to the rescue!
Check out this link that talks about the mental health benefits of playing chess:
Chess for children to help the relax
Chess is a great habit to inculcate among the younger folk of our population. Using chess, kids can take an active interest in history and the effect of it’s spread over the world has had immense impact on the game. It is very interesting to be able to bring in the concepts of evolution, power and female equality and explain it to the young. To avoid things getting too overwhelming in the future, laying a strong foundation here can make be very helpful in the long run. Another aspect of the game is the concept of delayed gratification.
Basically, what this means is that, a good move is not instantly gratified. Rather, the results of this move are seen and only once evident (checkmate) are players rewarded. This teaches kids patience and instills qualities such as diligence and industriousness among them. These qualities go a long way in making a person successful. Furthermore, they perpetuate the need to make good decisions and suffer the consequences of bad decisions. Over time, this improves decision making.
Constructive tool to help people relax
With the widespread use of social media and smartphones, peoples lives have been more digital than ever before. This is unfortunately taking a huge toll on students. Studies have shown that the content consumed by children quiet greatly affects their behaviour and psyche. It is common for them to play video games that are destructive activities. They don’t help anyone and are a nuisance to parents. Rather than taking a break to play video games, students may want to indulge in the game of chess. For one thing, it is definitely not as visually stimulating as video games. This is an essential aspect of activities that help people wind down. Chess on the other hand, unlike video games, is not addictive. It is a constructive stress buster that alleviates stress without any consequences. In addition, it promotes constructive thinking rather than destructive thinking.
Recently, we were fortunate enough to have an Interview with WIM Priyanka Nutakki. Do read the interview here:
Check out our article on Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand that talks about the role that his childhood had in shaping up to become a grandmaster here: