People have been playing Solitaire for hundreds of years now. You'd think that people have just been passing time, but playing solitaire has a lot of mental benefits. It doesn't matter whether you're playing Klondike Solitaire, Free Cell Solitaire, or Spider Solitaire 2 Suit; all games give the same mental benefits.

So let's dive in and see what those benefits are.

Relieve stress with a game of solitaire

Solitaire can have a meditative effect on people. It calms the mind by focusing it on one specific thing. When you're in this state of light meditation, you naturally relax more, and tension is therefore released from your body. This is not only soothing but helps you sleep better, which in turn helps you make better decisions in your daily life.

Recharge your mental batteries

Some people turn on the TV or see a re-run of their favorite show on Netflix when they try to unwind, but playing Solitaire can give you the same relaxing effect. When watching a show, the mind is occupied lightly, and therefore you're not thinking about all the troubles of daily life. The same can be said about playing solitaire. While playing the game, your mind is stimulated at such a level that you won't think about other issues, but at the same time, your mind is not so stimulated that you'll feel tired when you're done playing solitaire.

Stave off boredom

If you do find yourself in a situation where you're feeling bored, you've probably noticed that you'll start to feel agitated too at some point. It turns out that we humans don't like to feel bored. These days, feeling bored is less of a problem than it was in the past. One of the most famous people who have kept boredom at bay by playing solitaire is Napoleon. In 1814 he was banished to a small island called St. Helena in the middle of the Atlantic. With nothing to do, rumor has it that he spent much of his day playing solitaire.

Keep your mind sharp

Crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and solitaire have long been the go-to games for seniors trying to keep their minds sharp. People might not have thought about it while playing, but those games are what's considered Brain training games (BTG). Playing games such as solitaire develop your strategic muscles and improves your overall mental function.

Relieve anxiety with solitaire

When you feel anxious, your mind is in a heightened state of alert. Your mind keeps running, and it feels impossible to stop it. A lot of people have anxiety these days, and they've found a lot of different ways to deal with it. One of the more popular methods is to meditate. Through meditation, you can calm your mind using simple breathing exercises. Through these breathing exercises, your mind focuses on the breath coming and going, and therefore leaves all the other chatter out.

Some people experience the same effect while playing solitaire. Solitaire is challenging enough to keep your mind focused, but not so hard as to be frustrating to play. Helen, who's been dealing with anxiety, says that solitaire has "just the right level of absorbing to let me reset".