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International Mahjong Day 2021: Mental Benefits of the Game

·2 min read

Mahjong is a tile game with a rich history of journeying across multiple variations of the game before finally becoming static as a sport of intense strategy and skill. Fostering exciting gameplay throughout, Mahjong has extremely hazy origins with different people having their own idea about its origin – some attribute it to the Qing Dynasty, and some say Confucius himself invented the game.

No matter the origin, the game is dearly loved by everybody who understands it and plays vehemently, and why not? Mahjong doesn’t just entertain the players, brings them closer, and maintains peace, but also has benefits for the overall mental health of a person. Let us look at some of the mental health benefits of playing Mahjong:

Mahjong helps cure dementia

According to the WHO, by the year 2050, there will be more than 152 million cases of Dementia globally. However, studies have shown that playing Mahjong helps a person keep their mind sharp, and the game is recommended for the elders to keep their memory-preserving neurons in a healthy state. In addition, the use of cognitive skills in the game helps to cure or slow the effects of Dementia.

Reduces the prevalence of depression

Primarily, Mahjong is a social game as it requires three or more people to play. In Chinese traditions, inviting somebody for a game of Mahjong is seen as lending a hand of friendship. Studies have shown that participating in social activities has a positive impact on mental health. Therefore, Mahjong might boost mental health and reduce depression among all age groups, be it young, middle-aged, or old people.

It helps children develop cognitive skills

Children are malleable beings. The power of absorbing knowledge is the highest when they’re young. Mahjong can prove to be immensely beneficial for young children as the game requires concentration, planning, intelligence, and strategy-making. It can also be considered as an educational device for children.

Improves concentration and memorisation

Pattern recognition is an integral part of the game. Moreover, the game also requires concentration to keep the process of pattern recognition smooth and intact. Even the slightest distraction can cause the memorization to rupture. Therefore, similar to hitting two birds with one stone, one game can improve both memory and concentration.

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