Playing board games will always be an amazing way to connect with your loved ones, whether friends or family members. Great music, tasty food, yummy drinks and excellent fun time can make you forget about a stressful week. Remember your childhood, did you ever look at the time during a fun game? Time flows differently when we’re doing something we really enjoy. As we grow older, being serious becomes the norm of life. Some adults believe that acting childish and having fun may be seen as inappropriate. And yet, being a child again feels refreshing.
What Happens When We Play Board Games?
Whether we are 7 or 70 years old, when we enter the world of game and imagination, age becomes irrelevant. The joy and excitement of having uninhibited fun like a child activates the most beneficial hormones. The happiness hormone – endorphin, the excitement hormone – dopamine and the relationship hormone – oxytocin will flood our physical body when we play a board game.
Overall, having fun while playing board games can be very healing.
Lessons from Animal Teambuilding
Some years ago, during my time in corporate management, I was leading a multinational team that had, as its main ‘quality’, the diversity among its members. Diversity is great once you have worked out the cultural differences between people. My team, consisting of employees from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, became a cup full of surprises when it came to achieving our objectives. The main issue was that every person believed they were right, from their individual perspectives. I had to find a way to use teambuilding to inspire them to work better together. My main goal was to upgrade their communication skills from business-oriented to a more genuine, personal level.
While researching online about various methods that can help different people work better together, I randomly came across several videos that featured the most unusual relationships between very different animals. And I do mean very different! A panda bear being best friends with a cat. An elephant and a duck having a close bond. A tiger with a brown bear. A cat with a goose. It was exactly the same unusual situation that my team members were in; everyone was really different in every way!
All of the unique animal bonds featured in those videos had four traits in common:
- They met when they were young – before the development of Ego
- They spent a lot of time playing together
- They ate their meals together, meaning they didn’t regard the other as food!
- They grew up with one another
I find the above points to be the perfect antidote to any differences between people, helping to overcome them and build great relationships.
When it comes to relationships, Ego can be the main obstacle to good communication. Each person can tend towards thinking of outsmarting the other. Take a look in the mirror: you have two ears and one mouth, which means you probably should listen twice as much as you talk. The best thing to do in relationships is to find ways to play together and have a good time. Anyone would be attracted to a person that is fun and joyful. It is better to enjoy a meal together rather than feast on each other!
Board Games – a Digital Detox
Playing a board game is simultaneously entertaining and competitive in a fun way. It is a great opportunity to forget about the artificial/digital world which grabs our attention most of the time. Playing for a few hours without checking your smartphone, tablet or TV is already a win-win situation.
Effective Stress Relief
Daily stress affects us in many ways. The ultimate dangerous effect is to get physically sick. The emotions caused by stress affect our energy body, which will eventually have repercussions on the physical body, slowly damaging it. When stress levels grow beyond our ability to manage, we need to give ourselves a break. Breaks may come in different forms: vacation, weekend off, an afternoon break or sometimes even a 10-minute meditation.
Board games can provide a healthy break from stress. The purpose is to revert back to childhood, becoming more relaxed and worry-free.
Recommended Board Games
(can take up to a few hours to complete one game)
If you like to play with money, making money, investing and other business aspects, then Monopoly would be your board game of choice. What I like the most about Monopoly is that it gives you the chance to make alliances with other players beyond the basic rules of the game. This gives the opportunity to create your own set of rules, based on the dynamics of each game. You can probably find a game in your local toy store or you can order here on amazon for 20 USD.
(can take up to a few hours to complete one game)
A military game of strategy that turns the players into world conquerors. Similar to Monopoly, the beauty of this game stays in the fact that every game is different based on the alliances between players. In life we form friendships, we build relationships and seek to achieve certain objectives. The game is also great to build negotiation skills based on understanding the other players even though sometimes you have no access to their hidden agenda. Order it here on amazon for 38 USD.
(can take up to an hour to complete one game)
This is a great game for those who have a passion for language and words. Scrabble is a good way to increase your vocabulary, but just don’t use your smartphone while playing, as this defeats the purpose of the game!
It is fun, educational and a way to show how good you are with words. You can order here on amazon for 39 USD.
Perhaps not a well-known game, but well worth an experience. It is a game of strategy, patience and luck. It is a clever game to play with your friends. You can order here on amazon for 37 USD.
Board Games, Body Language and Intuition
Some say playing poker helps develop a poker face and chess develops patience. Board games improve communication skills. Learning in the most relaxed way to communicate through your body language. Reading faces, observing others’ emotional behavior is a way to develop your intuition to read people.
Win or Lose? Yin or Yang? Board Game or Life Game?
Board games teach us that sometimes we win and sometimes we lose, but there is always a next game. Life is made of situations where we sometimes come out as winners and sometimes not. What is important is to let go of the past and look at every new circumstance with fresh ideas and feelings.