Let’s be honest: We all want to feel better, live longer, make more money, improve our fitness and, of course, stop having wants we know can’t be achieved. Savvy capitalists are capitalizing on this trend by offering all manner of ways to improve people’s lives—whether it’s through motivational speeches, fad diets or a regimen of positive affirmations playing in your headphones as you sleep. But little did we know that the secrets to taking our lives to the next level have existed on our board game shelves this whole time. It’s true! Board games hold the keys to unlocking our full potential both on and off the board, and it’s only a matter of divining their lessons to jumpstart your road to betterment. Here are a few things games can help with…
Most board games encourage players to directly sabotage one another’s chances at victory to further their own agendas, and it can feel like quite the aggressive move to set a particular player in your sights or, worse, if you are in the crosshairs of someone else. In life, your opponents will show you no mercy, but in the board game you can attempt to negotiate for your life by offering up in-game favors or a direct wire transfer to their offshore bank account. You might further stay their hands by showering them with (empty) compliments and flattery. And, if none of that works, you could consider rushing to your panic room until everyone leaves your house. These tactics are great for evading bullies in real life, which is a surefire way to guarantee your survival and ensure your new nose doesn’t get punched into a ditch.
They say we spend more time sleeping and in the office than doing anything else, and they are right for most people—but you haven’t held a consistent job since the Carter administration so let’s just focus on sleep. The keys to a restful night’s rest are a consistent bedtime, a comfortable bedroom temperature and not having to get up every two minutes to empty your mostly empty bladder—all elements of a successful round of a board game. See, to truly succeed in a game, one must induce a state of true mindfulness and relaxation, becoming one with the universe and a strong partner for Mother Gaea. It’s more sleep-adjacent than it is pure sleep-like, but you get the gist.
Curb your temper
Anger, often represented by a red smiley face emoji, can get in the way of your happiness, often represented by a yellow smiley face emoji, and self-esteem, often represented by the “devil horns” hands emoji. (This article is relatable to Gen Z and younger.) But our emotions are a manifestation of our brains and bodies that can hardly be tamed, right? Not anymore!
Simply shuffle up some cards, snag some board game pieces and kick off what is bound to be a glorious and seemingly endless losing streak. Yes, get your ass handed to you in every conceivable way—and even a few yet to be conceived. Let yourself wallow in shame and defeat, absorbing this fiery anxiety like some sort of fireproof dustbuster until it turns to dust and blows away in the wind. Sometimes, the only way around something is directly through it.
Forge better relationships
Is that woman from Candyland giving you some sweet glances? How about that guy on the Life box? Those Yahtzee dice ogling you with their snake eyes? It’s nice to feel desired, and games can’t help but induce that effect on people. The key here isn’t to simply garner the attention but to let yourself feel, absorb and truly appreciate it all. Just don’t let your temper get in the way (see above).
Make more money
It’s called “gambling,” do the math. Actually, don’t, because if you do, you won’t want to gamble.