Everyone wants to be smart, and luckily there are several ways to get you there. One of those ways is by playing word games. Word games are either board or spoken games that help improve your language. They are usually designed to test your abilities in a competition, such as creativity, word-power, often based on a set of rules. These games are a great way to develop a deep vocabulary while jogging your mind in a fun way. But do word games really improve your thinking skills? Here are some reasons, it’s a matter of how, rather than if.
Great Exercise for the Brain
We tend to work out the muscles of our body in the gym and forget to work out the most important muscle in our bodies: the brain. Experts say that playing word games is one of those activities that keep you intellectually engaged by getting you to ‘stretch’ your thinking. The folks at UnscrambleX assert that for a game like “Words with Friends” which is estimated to be played by about 13 million monthly users, you’ll always want to be at your best in a competition. This is why cheat tools for these games are highly sort-after by players. Word games grab our attention, get us to make new connections in the brain, and give us the chance to think outside of our mind’s box.
Increase Problem-solving Skills
Word games have challenges that force us to develop new ways to solve the various challenges in the game which in turn promotes adaptability and cognitive flexibility. Jane McGonigal (designer of alternate reality games, Ph.D. in performance studies), suggests that if you want to have fun and stimulate your mind, playing about three times a week for just 20 minutes each time will increase your problem-solving skills. When solving a word game, you will think logically by arranging the challenge in your mind and recognizing existing patterns to deduce solutions from them. Done repeatedly, this could boost your confidence in solving problems in the real world as well.
Keeps Your Mind Active
As we continue to age, our bodies continue to decline both mentally and physically. While you use the gym to slow down your physical decline, using word games will also do the job to your brain. Research suggests that seniors who stay active are about 2.6 times less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s. Tackling word games help your brain remain sharp and active to slow down mental decay as it will boost your concentration. By varying the difficulty level of the word game, you will be able to also control your level of concentration. This means that to increase your levels of concentration, you can increase the level of difficulty of your word games.
Increases the Mind’s Processing Speed
The ability to be able to process information from the environment rapidly is very critical as it can be the difference between life and death in some situations. A good example is how motorists are faced with a lot of information, some of which is ever-changing, and asked to make rapid and accurate decisions that can have drastic implications. By playing word games, you will challenge your brain to come up with solutions to a wide range of challenges that will help you increase your brain’s processing speed. Word games will help activate a part of your brain called the Prefrontal Cortex which controls the decision-making aspect of our brains. By regularly training this part of your brain, your speed and accuracy in decision-making increases.
Deep Brain Stimulation
When you learn a new word game or find a new way to solve a challenge, it creates a deep brain stimulation by strengthening neural connections in the brain network. This deep brain stimulation through the repeated actions of finding solutions to the game’s challenges has been found by researchers to help aid Parkinson’s sufferers. Word games will also help you to visualize and understand the whole-part relationship that comes with learning some subject areas like shapes and numbers. It can also raise your intelligence quotient (IQ).
Increases your Knowledge Base
By playing word games, you will be increasing your knowledge through solving its challenges. Playing increases your curiosity and research skills as you are sure to come across words or phrases that you were not aware of previously. Word games also improve the spelling and grammar, which are things you use every day in your communication formal and informal.
And there you have it. The benefits of playing word games are plenty. By playing them regularly, you’ll not only be enhancing your thinking skills, but you’ll also become a better person in society.