How Chess Teaches You Empathy And 9 Other Benefits

There are good reasons why chess is one of the most popular games in history. It’s a great way to exercise your brain — plus, it’s fun!

Moving pawns, rooks, and knights around is a great way to take care of your mental health. That’s why we can’t recommend it enough! But don’t take our word for it — check out 10 amazing benefits of playing chess below.

1. It makes you smarter.

Not only does chess boost problem-solving skills, but the speed at which players understand and react to new information that enters their brains!

2. It helps you think outside of the box.


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Creativity is a must for chess champions determined to outsmart their opponents. Those who exercise this skill regularly are more likely to think creatively, even when they aren’t playing!

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3. It improves your memory.

Chess players routinely memorize various strategies to help them make winning moves. And just like a muscle, your memory grows stronger the more you use it. Interestingly enough, chess players are particularly good at recalling things they’ve heard!

4. It helps you get into “the zone.”

Have you ever been so immersed in an activity that everything else seems to melt away? You probably entered a flow state, an experience of complete satisfaction that comes from channeling all your energy and focus into one thing. That’s what happens to chess players during tough matches.

5. It makes you more empathetic.

Skilled chess players are constantly trying to see things from their opponent’s perspective in order to predict their moves. So, whenever they’re playing, they’re also practicing empathy.

6. It makes you a better planner.

Because players are constantly planning and considering each move, they naturally retain these skills! As a result, they’re much better planners than those who don’t play chess.

7. It can increase self-awareness.

Being a successful chess player depends on how you respond to problems that arise on the board. Paying attention to your reactions can help you develop a sense of self-awareness, which can lead to a better understanding of how you handle stress. That’s why some professionals use the game as a form of therapy!

8. It can ease ADHD symptoms.

In a study of 100 students between the ages of 8 and 12, researchers found that playing chess drastically improved children’s ability to focus and reduced hyperactivity.

9. It could stop panic attacks in their tracks.

One researcher tried using a mobile chess app whenever they felt a panic attack coming on, and it proved to be a great distraction technique! Finding the right difficulty level was key to helping them calm down.

10. It may prevent dementia.

Players practice memory, planning, and critical thinking skills. And according to scientists, these mental exercises could prevent or slow the progression of dementia.

Who knew a game could be so good for you? We know how we’ll be spending our extra time: yelling “checkmate!”

Share with your friends and family to encourage them to start playing today!

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