Three people playing cards at the table
Playing together is... reducing stress & avoiding burn-out
Read on to find out how playing cards and board games can help you in your professional and personal life.
Playing improves your mental wellbeing
Working relentlessly can cause tension and stress to build up in the body. When you’re at work, your mind is focused on serious business. That’s fine for a while, but your brain needs a healthy balance if you want to avoid burn-out and depression.
That’s where playing comes in. When you play a game – whether it’s a board, card or video game – your body releases endorphins. These natural feel-good chemicals combat stress and make you feel happy. You’ll instantly feel more productive and in the long run, you may be less likely to burn out .
A study on the effect of casual gaming showed that playing for as little as 20 minutes can improve the player’s mood and reduce stress. It’s one of the main reasons why so many people turn to games to unwind after a long day. According to an online survey by RealNetworks, Inc., 53 % of people play games to release stress.

A game a day can keep the doctor away
Lower stress levels, more endorphins and productivity and a lower chance of burn-out and depression: as health benefits go, that’s impressive. But there is more. Playing games helps us stay young and energetic, improves memory functions and stimulates the production of BDNF, a protein that supports the growth of brain cells.
You’ve heard people say that “laughter is the best medicine” and in a way, that’s true. A fun game with friends will make you giggle or even howl with laughter, bringing along more health benefits. Laughing has been known to decrease inflammation and improve vascular health. “It makes your blood pressure go down, because you release dopamine,” explains Dr. Bowen White, physician and founding member of the National Institute for Play.
Games have a strong social component as well. They help you connect with others, says Seb Van Deun, owner of Belgian game store and café De Kolonisten. Three evenings a week, board game enthusiast come together at his shop to discover new games and rediscover favorites. “When you meet up with people to play a game, it forces you to really spend quality time together. Through games we strengthen our bonds with friends, family and coworkers. Ultimately, games are all about having a good time with good people.”