Can Card Games Help Anxiety?

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By Ralph Torres

Card games have been a popular pastime for centuries, from traditional games like Go Fish to more complex ones like Poker. While they are often played for entertainment purposes, many people have found that playing card games can have mental health benefits as well. In particular, some people have found that playing card games can help alleviate anxiety.

What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by feelings of worry, fear, and nervousness that can be overwhelming and interfere with daily life. Anxiety can range from mild to severe and may be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, stress, trauma, or other underlying medical conditions.

How can card games help with anxiety?
Playing card games can provide a distraction from anxious thoughts and help individuals relax. The act of shuffling cards or strategizing moves can be a meditative experience that promotes mindfulness and reduces stress levels. Additionally, playing card games with others can provide social support and create a sense of community.

  • Promotes relaxation: Card games require concentration and focus which helps reduce negative thoughts and distractions.
  • Encourages socialization: Playing card games with friends or family members provides an opportunity to connect with others in a low-stress environment.
  • Improves cognitive skills: Card games require mental agility in terms of strategy planning as well as memory retention.
  • Affordable: Most card games require only a deck of cards which is an affordable way to spend time.

The best types of card games for anxiety relief


Solitaire is one of the most popular single-player card games out there. It’s easy to play and requires only a deck of cards. The game can be played at any time, anywhere, and can help reduce anxiety by providing a sense of control and achievement.


Hearts is a classic card game that can be played with two to six players. This game requires players to strategize their moves based on the cards they are dealt, which promotes critical thinking skills. The game also has a social component as it is often played with friends or family members.


Bridge is a more complex card game that requires four players. It involves bidding and trick-taking, which can be challenging but also rewarding. Playing bridge can improve cognitive skills such as memory retention, problem-solving, and communication.

The bottom line
While there are many ways to manage anxiety, playing card games can provide a fun and engaging way to alleviate symptoms. Card games offer an affordable way to spend time alone or with others while promoting relaxation and socialization. If you struggle with anxiety, consider incorporating card games into your self-care routine as an enjoyable way to manage symptoms.