Jigsaw puzzles have a surprising number of benefits that many people don’t realize. They offer a mind stimulating and fun way to take a break from the sports games on TV, or Facebook surfing on your mobile phone. With thousands of puzzles to choose from you’ll never run out of options to choose from.
The Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles
Puzzles can be completed alone, or in groups, and by all ages. This can help bring families together and get the kids away from their xbox sports games, if only for a little while! A couple of the benefits puzzles can offer are:
- Memory. Something all ages can benefit from, working on puzzles helps develop and strengthen connections in our brain. This can increase the speed of thought processes and in turn improve our overall memory; particularly in the short term capacity. Short term memory is engaged as we work through a puzzle as our minds try to remember colors and shapes. As we continue to work, the connections are strengthened, helping build a longer lasting memory. Think of it as a mental work out!
- Problem Solving. Whether you’re working on 300 piece puzzles or 2000 piece jigsaw puzzles, the process of working through them and solving them improves our problem solving skills. This is because puzzles force us to take multiple different approaches when trying to solve them. Difficult puzzles particularly can enable us to spend time seriously contemplating the pieces and how they should come together. Testing out multiple pieces and placements, while allowing us to change perspective in a piece doesn’t quite workout. These problem solving skills can go on to benefit us in both school and work life.
- IQ. Because both easy puzzles and hard puzzles work to develop and strengthen memory, problem solving, and reasoning, it can also give a boost to IQ. This also is helpful at any age, but can definitely give developing kids a boost, especially when put up again mind numbing console sports games.
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia. One benefit that is particularly beneficial to those advancing in age is that puzzles can help stave off both Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms. Activities like puzzles that engage the mind can help reduce the number of brain cells affected and damaged from the onset of these debilitating conditions. Those who consistently work on puzzles gain these benefits, which can begin at any age. In this case the sooner you begin strengthening your mind, the better results you’ll experience.
- Mood. Puzzles can have the surprising benefit of increasing dopamine production in our brains. This chemical helps regulate mood, and can leave us feeling happier overall. It can also aid in concentration and motivation.
- Stress. While puzzles can be challenging, they can also be relaxing. As we focus on solving the puzzle our mind isn’t concentrating on the bill that’s due, or the project that’s coming up at work. This helps ease our minds, and give us a needed break from the rush of everyday. In doing so it modulates our stress levels as well.
- Attention to Detail. When solving a large puzzle with thousands of pieces, all of which have extremely similar designs, it can force our minds to pick up on things we otherwise wouldn’t. Your eyes are therefore trained to pick out the minute differences so that the final product can come together. This helps in both work and school, as we become more aware of small details that can help improve the quality of our work.
Puzzles can help improve many facets of our lives, no matter what age we are. They can be fun to work out on our own, or provide a great idea for a family game night. They help get us thinking, while keeping the kids away from their xbox sports games. With so many benefits to be had, it’s well worth picking up a puzzle and giving it a try next Friday night.