Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Tuesday Tickle: Head Games

on February 21, 2012


In the exploding world of brain research, it’s being proven that play is healthy for your brain. Most people love to play games. Growing up my house was filled with games and gamers, although we didn’t call ourselves gamers back then. We played card games, board games, music and dance games, and learning games in my house almost every day. My mother was a dance teacher and my father played alot of musical instruments so our house was pretty busy with some kind of creative endeavor all of the time.

We not only learned skills and strategy, we learned competiveness. And we learned to think like someone else. If we could figure out how someone at the game table was thinking, it was possible to win the game by thinking like them but ahead of their thoughts. That’s strategy training.

Games were really big and the holidays were really special because it meant we didn’t have to stop playing a particular game to go back to school. My favorite Christmas was at age seven when I received Monopoly as a gift and my dad, sister, and I played the game for four days without stopping until one of us won. I couldn’t wait for the weekends as a child because it meant extra time to play games.

What good is playing a game? Were you “taught” that games are a waste of time? Too bad, because playing games creates new brain cells and new brain cells mean better quality of life because new brain cells help use function and cope longer and better. Work a crossword puzzle, play a video game, or play cards with family friends. It is proven that playing games challenges your brain and increases its ability to function.

The practice of using your brain to think through a game’s strategy and then implement your plan keeps things like memory and focus in tact. Playing a variety of games such as working puzzles and playing board games encourages your brain to build new brain cells in response to the mental challenges. These cells prosper when challenged continually. Playing games helps your memory to function better just because you practice using your memory when playing games.

Don’t play games with other people’s heads. Engage in gaming to strengthen and lengthen your own brain’s capabilities. As my college teachers used to say, “Play is learning.” Cool.

What is your favorite game? Do you know why it’s your favorite game?

(Fall Fairy by K. Held)

Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity

Who Dares Wins Publishing

There are  five primary areas of practice to the the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing,


And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. Bob Mayer Jenni Holbrook Kristen Lamb Inspiration for Writers, Inc. Natalie Markey Amy Shojai


Check out my new website Joy E. Held


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Be well, write well



5 responses to “Tuesday Tickle: Head Games

  1. msspencer says:

    Take THAT, all you people who won’t let kids play Dodgeball or actually win something!

    • Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog says:

      LOL! (Is LOL outdated yet? I’m not current on abbreviations.)

      Have I ever suggested the book “SPARK, The revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain” by Dr. John Ratey for reading yet? You’d probably like it.

  2. Joanna Aislinn says:

    Hmm. Favorite game. I loved Monopoly and believe I really increased my vocabulary big-time via crossword puzzles. Once computers came around, I got hooked on FreeCell. My son and I are known for our Scrabble matches too. Oh, and what was more fun than Pictionary when it first came out? We still have some of the pictures we drew then.

    • Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog says:

      Don’t even start me on Scrabble. My family has progressed(??) to holiday marathon games of UpWords. LOVE IT, however, I’m not kidding when I say marathons. It sometimes takes my sister with the Ph.D. 30 minutes to decide on her word. Geez. I usually just put up three letter words to keep things moving. And everybody brings THEIR OWN dictionary to every holiday meal and if that wasn’t enough, we play three UpWords board at the same time. My other sister made “bridges” to fill in the gaps between the boards so words could extend across boards. It’s insane but we’ve been doing this for years!

      • Joanna Aislinn says:

        I’m sure it’s a whole lot of fun, lol. My son was wondering how Monopoly could go on for four straight days. We used to get out paper and pencil and write ‘loans’ so that players could stay in the game.

        Re: Scrabble, we finally got hubby (who thinks he’s the ‘champ’ b/c he won ONCE and now won’t play again so that he remains ‘undefeated’) to accept looking up words in an online dictionary. Got to get that boy updated with the times 🙂

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