Why children must play Chess for better mental health!
I remember as a kid every Sunday morning I used to spend morning hours with my grandfather playing chess. During those days when mental health issues were not even heard of he made me understand the benefits of playing chess for better mental health.
Chess is a game that is loved all over the world. People spend long hours playing the game and that is what helps them improve their mental faculties which have long-term benefits in life. Chess is one game that involves an intellectual challenge that is good for strengthening the health of the mind. In today’s world which is full of uncertainties, challenges, and excessive information, it is a must to have control over one’s mind to stay calm. Chess as a game can help immensely in strengthening the mind and mental faculties.
Today let me share with you what my grandfather used to tell me about the benefits of playing chess.
Chess for better mental health, how?
Chess helps improve memory and intelligence at all ages
It is commonly observed that people who play chess have better and stronger memory skills than others. This is a game that involves remembering various combinations of moves and their counter moves.
Interestingly chess players have are good at remembering and quickly recognizing visual patterns, and verbal instructions. Researchers think that this is the result of memorizing complex chess combinations.
In addition to memory skills, if children continue practicing chess, they can develop higher thinking abilities especially the ability to use reasoning to solve problems.
Not only that, they are seen to improve on the ability to comprehend tasks swiftly and respond to challenges efficiently.
Focus is a skill that our children really need to work on as there are so many options and alternatives available in every sphere of life that it becomes difficult for them to think of one particular thing for long. It enables them to operate at a peak performance level in any challenging situation.
Chess is a great way to build creative and planning skills
There was research conducted at an Indian school where two groups of students were tested for their creative thinking skills. One group consisted of trained chess players while the other didn’t have any chess players. Both the groups of students were asked to think of alternative uses for common items along with interpreting patterns and abstract forms. In the final conclusion, it was established that chess helped in increasing their ability to think creatively.
Since chess is a game known for silent contemplation to think about each move, it teaches patience and prediction while anticipating counter moves by the opponents. This practice of planning while careful contemplation of every eventuality happens to be one of the most important cognitive health benefits of playing chess for the children in the longer run.
Chess helps with the ADHD symptoms
ADHD aka attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a very common issue among children these days. It has been observed that playing chess can help in decreasing over-activity as well as inattentiveness in the course of treatment. During therapy sessions, it was observed that chess helps to distract from unpleasant feelings by providing appropriate engagement.
Chess trains the mind to think from another’s perspective
When you play chess you keep thinking about the moves of the opponent and about the repercussions of your each and every move. That helps kids develop the ability to consider someone else’s viewpoint. This helps them rethink their actions, makes them empathetic, and helps them build healthy relationships. In 2019 a study confirmed that chess as a game helps inculcate the ability to consider other’s perspectives about things in children.
Personally speaking, I feel thankful to my grandpa and dad to make me understand the game of chess as it made me a woman who can think swiftly and plan things better with an empathetic bent of mind. So are you ready with the chessboard and kids for better mental health?