Mindfulness games for increased inner peace
The cornerstone of games like Monopoly and chess is the thrill of competition, and competition definitely has its place in the gaming world. But what if you just want to kick back and share a relaxing game with others -- a game that builds self-esteem, a sense of calm, and stronger social bonds? We call the games in the list below "mindfulness" games because they all revolve around similar concepts: living in the moment, being aware of thoughts and feelings, and savoring the specialness of life. Read on to find out about these simple yet profound (and really fun) games.
The Danish concept of hygge has spread across the globe, and The Hygge Game builds on its tenets of comfort and contentment. The game consists of cards with 300 questions designed to inspire conversation with other players in a pleasant atmosphere. For example, a fellow player might ask you what the title of your autobiography would be if you were to write one. You might ask a fellow player to describe an incident in which he did something nice for another person. This isn't a game with an objective so much as it is a chance to get cozy and comfortable with others in the room.
The TableTopics company makes games that spark "real conversations in real time." The 10th Anniversary Edition consists of 135 question cards in a sturdy cube that could be explored at your next family gathering or party. TableTopics makes other games as well: if the teens in your life need help opening up, you might introduce them to TableTopics Teen, a box of thoughtful cards for kids age 13 and older. If you're up for a little armchair psychology, check out the TableTopics' Do It Yourself Therapy card game for ages 12 and older. Regardless of who you are or who you're with, there are multiple iterations of this little cube from TableTopics that can help get conversation flowing.
InnerIcons has created a card game that doesn't just call for conversation -- it calls for players to act out certain cooperative situations in order to develop better social and self-awareness. Developed by teachers with a pointed interest in teaching mindfulness to students and adults, the game can be used in group therapy sessions, classrooms, or at home. There are 40 cards included with this purchase, as well as a booklet with tips for self-care and finding inner peace.
Totem is a feel-good game for groups. Participants share their positive thoughts and feelings about one another using the included game cards. Here's how it works: players are dealt a hand of "totems," such as animals. When it's your turn, each player gives you one totem card that they feel positively represents you. You are now holding a handful of affirmations about yourself from each person in the room. The game goes on until each player has received a series of positive affirmations. The makers of Totem recommend the game for children, teens, and adults. People in the workplace can even use it as a team-building exercise.
In Dutch, the word "vertellis" means "tell me more." That's exactly what this card game is about: genuinely connecting with others in a face-to-face situation. Questions like, "What are you most grateful for?" are discussed among players. The founders of Vertellis, frustrated by the limited face-to-face contact people have in today's device-saturated society, wanted to give people a way to deepen their social ties and grow personally. If you're interested in sharing this experience with a romantic partner, Vertellis Relationship Edition offers a different set of penetrating questions and even allows you to earn points by correctly predicting your partner's answer. Vertellis Family Edition is designed with family growth in mind. If you're interested in Vertellis for your next gathering, be sure to order early -- the game sells out quickly.
The question card game BIG TALK actually began as a social experiment by Kalina Silverman, a deep thinker and entrepreneur who asked a series of total strangers, "What do you want to do before you die?" and filmed the experience. Born out of the profound experiences Silverman had, this game includes 90 cards with icebreaker questions that can be used with young and old alike. Owners say they like this card game because it skips over the small talk and gets right to the nitty-gritty.
Backed by a Kickstarter campaign, the Uncommon Questions game is chock-full of fresh questions that couples can ask one another. Creator Nick Wester states that the questions are meant to be fun yet nonconfrontational and that "We are 99.99% sure you have never had these conversations." Some couples sit down and breeze through card after card; others prefer to tackle one to three cards per day. There is no scorekeeping; this game is about random (yet enlightening) conversation with a significant other.
Mindfulness games are not a substitute for therapy, but they do encourage personal growth, satisfaction, and happiness in a large number of users. We encourage readers who are looking for a fresh way to relax, have fun, and connect with others to explore these exciting options.
Melissa Nott is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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