Gambling and its relationship to mental health is controversial, with many seeing it as a detriment. Gambling is addictive, and it’s easy to think of it as unhelpful. Did you know that gambling can benefit you and your mental health in both the short and long terms?
Logging into an online casinon and playing games like blackjack or poker can boost your analytical and critical thinking. You need to think a step ahead and consider each possibility before making a move.
Our guest author today is Dominic Andreasson. If you want to see more from him, check him out on Twitter.
Modern Swedish Gambling
It’s easier than ever to find a safe online casino, especially in Sweden. In fact, more than 58% of gambling in Sweden takes place online. That’s more than any individual country in Europe, with Denmark coming in second and the United Kingdom right after.
Until 2019, the government allowed only one state-owned gambling company, Svenska Spel, to offer citizens gambling options. Now, private companies can accept players from Sweden, as long as they get the proper licence from the Swedish Gambling Authority.
Now, any operator that wants to accept Swedish players must pay a licencing fee ranging from SEK 400-700, and gamblers can claim one welcome bonus. You have the option to freeze your account if you need it, and you need to use the same payment option to deposit and withdraw.
Gambling activities can absolutely affect your mental health in both positive and negative ways. The combination of adrenaline and competition makes it an addictive activity, but it can be fun and boost your mental health under the right circumstances.
Some games can boost your analytical and critical thinking skills, while others are just entertaining. Online gambling gives players an exciting form of escapism to distract themselves from life for a little while. Just be sure to balance it out with other activities.
Keep Yourself Safe
Many gamblers treat it similarly to alcohol and come up with guidelines to keep themselves safe. Limiting how often you gamble and how much you gamble can help you benefit from the positives while minimizing the negatives.
Make sure that you don’t gamble more money than you can afford to lose, and set time limits for yourself. If you don’t quit while you’re ahead, you might lose more money than you originally intended to spend.
Critical Thinking and Memory
While excitement can boost your mood and mental health in the short term, there are several long term positive effects from gambling. One of the most significant ways that gambling can help mental health is by improving your memory.
Blackjack and poker both require using your long-term and short-term memory. While playing these games can’t entirely stop memory loss, they can help keep your mind sharp, even if you’re an older player.
It’s important to know that playing casino games like slots won’t have the same effect on your memory. That isn’t because they’re damaging your mental health, though. Games that don’t involve skill and are luck-based don’t do anything other than make you feel good in the moment, which is still helpful.
Along with improving your memory, games can also help increase your analytical and critical thinking skills. No matter the game, you need to be anticipating what’s going to happen next, taking in all the possible outcomes. Gambling requires you to analyze what you see in front of you to influence your decisions to make the best ones.
Games like poker and blackjack are generally more social, which can also provide an excellent boost to your mental health. Being sociable helps with depression and anxiety, and playing casino games like poker gives you an activity to do while you’re with friends.
Even though online casinos might not seem like they provide social interaction, in some games, they do. Live casino games offer some interaction, even if it isn’t vocal.
Environment and Escapism
Although generally seen as unfavourable, escapism can be very beneficial to your mental health in small doses. Paying attention to everything going on in the world all the time can be incredibly detrimental to your mental health.
Escapism can come in many different forms, including reading, watching television or playing an instrument. Gambling activities provide an escape into a glitzy and glamorous environment, even if you’re playing at an online casino.
Escapism provides people with a distraction from adverse events in their lives. This isn’t a bad thing. Taking time for yourself to do something fun and exciting can give you room to process life, both the bad and the good.
Although many people associate gambling with harm and addiction, gambling activities can help various aspects of your health. Playing games like poker or blackjack can help improve your mood, memory and analytical and critical thinking skills.