Happiness Secret #3

Happiness Secret #3

You might have heard your parents say something like, “Life isn’t all fun and games.” And that’s true, but maybe it should be more fun and games than it is. In fact, research shows that playing games and turning more of our daily tasks into games has huge benefits to ourselves and those around us.

When we play games we naturally display psychological strengths such as optimism, creativity, courage, determination, openness, and resilience.  Research shows, that those strengths that we hone during game play actually do translate into real-life skills.

Games also help us connect with one another. When we play a game with someone, we develop enhanced empathy for them, even if we’re competing. Playing a simple game can increase how much we like other people, and how much we like people we perceive to be similar to the people we’ve played with. This is only true of games played in the same physical space (whether it’s a physical or a digital game), or digital games played online with people you already know. (Playing online with strangers does not have this same effect, and can even have an opposite effect.)

You can turn almost anyone—even a stranger, or some who doesn’t like you—into a friend, just by playing a game with them.

You can take this same principle and apply it to many of life’s everyday tasks and challenges. Gamifying anything can help you approach the task or challenge with greater resilience, optimism, and creativity and can help forge stronger bonds with the people “playing the game” with you. This is one of the best possible tricks in life for handling negative situations in a positive, more smile inducing way.

Not sure what to play? Check out Casual Game Revolution’s list of recommended casual games for fun, fairly easy to learn tabletop games.


SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal

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