Can board games improve mental health? I think so. I am a total board game geek, and we have a good chunk of a bookcase bursting with them. We are also in the process of ‘up-geeking’ our kids (favourites at the moment include Catan Junior and Castle Panic if you are interested 😉 ). They are a fun way to spend time, give you small, solvable problems to engage with and a sense of reward (or loss of course!). But is there more to it?
Board games and mental health
Although I love playing games, I never really thought of the effect that they can have on mental health before. But I recently stumbled across a blog from a board game developer which explores just this – from a very personal and insightful perspective. It is a powerful piece and makes a strong argument that board games – or more accurately the opportunities they provide – can improve mental health in a fairly unique way. To me, it also highlights the importance of social connections and made me think of other collective activities I’ve written about before, like gardening, singing, and others. These are all things which are tougher or impossible to do at the moment for many of us, and that makes me sad. It also reminds me we need to find meaningful substitutes for these forms for connection and psychological nourishment.
Anyhow, you can check out the blog which triggered these musings via the link below.
Blog post from ITB, who also develop cool games!
Take care till next time
It’s been a unique (for most of us) year….
Covid-19 has obviously changed pretty much everything for pretty much everybody this year… Much like everyone else I have been juggling work and family, and securing sufficient supplies of toilet roll. I’ve also had a few projects on the go – not least of which is the compilation of a new handbook on alcohol use (working with Prof. Ian Albery and a featuring a host of amazing authors – more on this soon – including a cover reveal :-)). I have also completed the first stage of my training to be a counsellor which is super exciting – I embarked on the second stage of this journey this month. It is a lot of work (and personal development), but really interesting 🙂
All in all, I’ve not had a chance to post a lot in 2020, and that’s a real shame- but I hope to try to get a few more out in the remainder of the year and the in 2021 – fingers crossed!
Take care, and I hope to be posting more soon!
It is a strange and, for many, a really difficult time. I hope you are all managing as well as possible and that your and yours are all doing ok…
I know its been a while since the last post (hopefully that will change soon) but I think that a project I am currently taking part in may be of interest to many of you, and I wanted to share an opportunity to take part…
What is the ‘psychology’ of epidemic diseases?
This is the question we are exploring! I’m part of a team at London South Bank University who are exploring how we respond psychologically to events such as the COVID19 outbreak – we have some studies we have completed the initial phases of work for already (such as looking at how being in a group changes the way we feel about disease), but also some that are currently recruiting. If you’d like to help us, you may be able to volunteer to take part in one in particular…
What does it involve?
In brief, we are looking for people to spend about 30-40 minutes with us to do an interview via phone or Skype, discussing how they seek out, understand and evaluate information around corona virus.
Who can take part?
We are looking for volunteers who are English speakers living in the UK who are aged between 20-30 years old and also UK ex-pats who live in Hong Kong of any age.
How can I find out more?
Easy! just email me at email@example.com and we will be in touch with an information sheet which has full details 🙂 Equally, please share this invite with anyone you know who may be interested and eligible to take part 🙂
Regardless of whether this is of interest or not, I really hope you are all able to stay as healthy (physically and, of course, psychologically) as possible over the coming weeks, not matter what is thrown at you. I also hope that when silver linings do appear (whether this is being less busy and taking time to yourself, being more busy learning new skills, or just appreciating the sunshine through kitchen window) you are able to grab the opportunity…
As part of our ongoing research programme into social
identity and the role it plays in recovery,
Prof Ian Albery and I are currently running an online study exploring
how people who are members of AA perceive and are affected by hearing other
people’s life stories. The survey takes around 15 minutes to complete. There is
no participant payment, but we hope the study will help improve our
understanding of recovery and thus help people in the long-term.
We’re looking for around 150 people to take part, so if you know anyone who may be interested – or groups who could promote the study – please do let them know. People can find out more, and take part, via this link;
Participants must be English speakers who are AA members,
and participation is completely anonymous.
Thanks in advance to anyone who helps 😊
BREAKING: Clinton Foundation Ship Seized at Port of Baltimore Carrying Drugs, Guns and Sex Slaves
Fake news is a combination of the psychology of persuasion (how to design a message people will buy by carefully thinking about the audience, message source and content). It is also a striking example of the power of social identity – people often much prefer and share stories which bash the ‘other’ and loudly protest when their own are smeared.
But where does fake news come from? And why do people write it? I read a super article on bbc news today (which, despite occasional protests, probably isn’t fake!) which explores this in depth – I urge you to do the same. Written by Anisa Subedar, it’s informative and, in my opinion, beautifully written…
Enjoy and have a super day!
The future of social prescribing workshop.
Some time ago, I wrote a post on social prescribing. Since then, I have ended up doing some research in this field. I am also helping to host a British Psychological Society sponsored workshop exploring ‘Challenges to Social Prescribing’. The London event will be taking place in November. If your are involved in the field, or just plain interested, I would love it if you could join us…. I am even giving a talk 🙂 Find out more below…
Continue reading “Free Social Prescribing event in London”
Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation
Understanding how intrinsic and extrinsic forms of motivation differ helps us plan our activities and stay engaged with tasks at hand. Intrinsic motivation is based on inner values, whilst extrinsic is based on contingent rewards. But how can we harness our internal motivation and how (and when) do extrinsic rewards help (or hinder)? Read on to find more…
Continue reading “Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic rewards”
What make us (and the people we work with) really engage in a task? The promise of ‘Fortune and Glory’? Or maybe ‘Fear and Loathing’? These are all common tools people use to manage their own and others’ motivation and engagement. But, maybe this is all wrong… maybe there is a smarter way… In this post, we look at an alternative perspective,focusing on autonomy, mastery and purpose. Read on to find out more….
Continue reading “Autonomy, mastery and purpose: 3 drivers of motivation.”
Exam season cometh!
Across the country, exam time is coming up – here are some of PsychologyItBetters best posts to help you survive and thrive during this stressful period…. I hope you find them useful!
What predicts performance differences in two people with equal aptitude and prep?
Better stress reduction
Understanding stress responses
Feeling a bit overwhelmed?
Humour and stress reduction
Stress and exercise
And, when it is all over….
The psychology of holidays
Good luck in your exams and with your courseworks!
Lots of exciting posts on the way
It has been great getting back in the swing of writing for PsychologyItBetter.com again. I’m so excited about the blog posts that we have coming up, I wanted to share in advance! I have already scheduled posts on the importance of professional friendships, why I am going to try and stop telling people I am busy, and the role of ‘Big Tobacco’ in harm reduction. These will be appearing over the next few weeks. (I’ve also got some very exciting news to share soon…. 🙂 ).
Alongside all this I am also planning new posts on the five most important psychology books ever written, the role of self-affirmation and a load more topics. There should can be something for everybody 🙂
Don’t miss a single one!
I advertise new posts on Facebook and Twitter – but you can quite easily miss these announcements if you’re not looking at these sites around the time the post happens. Fortunately, I have now set things up so you can receive weekly digest of the blogs that have been posted in the last seven days. If you pop your email in the box below and press subscribe, you need never miss a post again 🙂
You can opt out of these emails at any time, and I will never share your email address with other people. I hate spam as much as anyone, so will not be bombarding you with emails!
Whether you choose to sign up or not I do hope you continue to enjoy reading PsychologyItBetter.com as much as I enjoy writing it!
Have a great day!