I value peace, calmness and relaxation now more than ever. So as I sit in front of the computer listening to Big Oldies 107.3 radio station online and Bella softly snoring on the couch, I decided to do a mindless and mind-numbing activity.
What Is Mahjong?
In the 1920’s, the first mahjong game sets were imported from China into the United States and sold by Abercrombie & Fitch to the general public.
Mahjong is a game surround by myths about Confucius being the originator. Regardless who started mahjong, it is universally believed that the game began in China. Mahjong is actually a board game that is commonly played by four players in China. On the Internet, however, it can be play by one person. Although I feel that it is a mindless game, it requires the player to use skill, strategy and to calculate in order to win. Of course, there is also an element of chance too.
The game is has a set of 136 tiles which are based on Chinese characters and symbols. The board game is played a lot like a card game, but the the solitaire version online is much different. That’s a really good thing because the only card games I’m any good at playing is Old Maid and Flap Jack.
Aging, Relaxation And Mahjong
My mother will totally disagree that playing online games such as mahjong is relaxing, however, to many people it is not only fun, but also extremely relaxing.
The tiles that I highlighted in yellow are on the outer edges of the layer of tiles in the mahjong game. Those are the tiles that can be matched, clicked and eliminated.
As tiles are clicked and eliminated, the outer edge also changes and reveals more tiles that can be matched and clicked. The goal is to get down to zero tiles. When I only have two tiles left to click, it is a thrill.
This can be a very rapidly played game or I can click the tiles leisurely. Either way, the expected end result is to click the last two tiles.
As I get to the end of each game, I still get the same little thrill when there are only two tiles left to click and I play game after game after game.
Mahjong allows me to sit quietly and think about nothing. I’m able to escape into the game and receive positive reinforcement after I win. I don’t win money, but on this particular game I win flowers. Not real flowers! After I click the last two tiles, the purple flowers start falling down the screen as if they are falling off the tree.
Okay, maybe that doesn’t seem all that thrilling to you, but the game is so relaxing and so is winning! There’s also another benefit to playing mahjong.
According to an exploratory study of mahjong as documented by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, “Regardless of frequency of playing, mahjong produced consistent gains across all cognitive performance measures…The effects lasted after mahjong had been withdrawn for a month, suggesting that constant practice is not necessary to achieve therapeutic effect once an initial threshold is attained.” The study went on to say that, “Mahjong is a viable treatment option for dementia.”
Not only is mahjong fun and relaxing, it is also a great therapy to ward off dementia!!!
There are all kinds of mahjong games with different pictures on the tiles. There is even one for the new year that includes snowmen! I think it is so cute.
However, my favorite mahjong game to play is just the standard game with the falling flowers at the end. No matter which mahjong game played or whether it is for fun, relation or to ward off dementia, never underestimate the thrill of clicking the LAST TWO TILES!
You already knew I was nerdy. If you can’t beat them, join them. So go ahead, give in and join me! LOL