Puzzles are typically associated with a hobby or a way to let time go by peacefully. Many people enjoy the challenge of putting together puzzles and sorting and strategically placing pieces together to form a complete image. It’s a fantastic way to spend quality time with children and family.
But did you know there are several health benefits to doing puzzles? Below we will look at a few benefits of working on puzzles that might surprise you.
So let’s dive right in!
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Table of Contents
Greater Attention to Detail
Paying attention to detail doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you’ve ever wanted to get better at paying attention to detail, start doing puzzles. While you are putting together a puzzle, you are forced to pay attention to the detail regarding pattern, colors, and shape.
As you get better at this, it will help carry over to other aspects of your life, such as work-related tasks.
As we get older, our memory can fade to varying degrees. Many people fear that they might lose some or all of their memory. Working with puzzles helps to maintain and bolster our brain cells. The goal is to consistently improve mental speed and the thought processes that happen in our daily lives.
Short-term memory can also be improved by putting together and solving puzzles. It helps us remember the shapes, colors, and patterns so that we can see the big picture to put the entire puzzle together.
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Delays in Dementia and Alzheimer’s
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. By 2050, this number might rise to nearly 13 million. It’s vital that you keep your brain as active as possible to delay the symptoms that come along with dementia.
Puzzles are a great way to keep your mind active, along with other problem-solving activities as you age. An abnormal build-up of proteins around the brain cells is what causes dementia in Alzheimer’s patients, so doing everything you can to prevent this is vital. Solving puzzles can also support nerve cells to grow and strengthen the connections between them.
There are promising studies that have been done that show the correlation between the number of years someone has been working on puzzles and the likelihood that they will develop Alzheimer’s. This research is essential in backing up the theories that working on mentally challenging games, such as puzzles, can keep Alzheimer’s away.
Increases Cognitive Function
Cognitive function can increase by doing puzzles. Some people classify themselves as “Right-brained or left-brained” because the right brain is in charge of emotions, creativity, and intuitive thinking. The left brain is the practical, objective, and logical side.
When you do a puzzle, both sides of the brain are used to create an entire brain “workout.” Solving puzzles forces both sides of your brain to come together and “talk” to each other to solve the task. The portion where the brain connects, called the occipital lobe, must combine the shapes and colors to solve the puzzle. When you exercise your mind, it helps to stop cognitive decline.
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Better Teamwork Collaboration
Building better work environments by increasing collaboration between team members is always a plus. Solving puzzles as a group can help develop these skills that can later be applied to the office environment.
As a matter of fact, there is research by Yale University that shows when coworkers work together on puzzles. It helps them improve their relationships and abilities to cooperate and work as a team.
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Visual-Spacial Reasoning is Improved
Putting together a puzzle forces you to see the big picture first while placing different smaller pieces inside that larger piece. Doing puzzles consistently can help you improve your spatial reasoning.
By improving your visual-spacing skills, you can improve your standard skill set, such as parking, using maps, determining how many items can fit into a box or suitcase, etc. People who work as artists, chemists, architects, engineers, and surgeons use a visual-spatial abilities during their jobs.
The average IQ is between 90 and 100. So if you know your IQ and want to improve it, consider solving puzzles as a fun hobby. Our overall reasoning and memory can improve by working on puzzles.
Adults could boost their IQ by four points after spending 25 minutes a day playing puzzle games, according to one researcher from the University of Michigan.
Places of work are always trying to increase the productivity of their workers and promote more collaboration. It’s no wonder why many offices have started to add puzzles to their lunch rooms and lounge areas. During employees’ breaks and lunch hours, they can spend time decompressing by doing puzzles either alone or with other coworkers.
Doing puzzles can help you become less stressed and help with putting your focus back on work once you have a quick resting break.
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Lower Stress Levels
Puzzles are also a great way to lower stress and help us relax. When you start putting together puzzles, your brain goes into a different state, similar to dreaming. This shift in consciousness can help improve your mood, increase your self-confidence, and help you make deeper connections.
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When you are trying to solve a puzzle, dopamine is released during various “wins.” For example, every time you put a piece in place, a little bit of dopamine is released. When you finally complete the puzzle, dopamine is released again.
Since dopamine regulates the feeling of optimism and can also affect motivation, concentration, and memory, working on puzzles helps to improve our overall mood as we get closer and closer to solving the entire puzzle.
Keep Your Mind Young
As you can see above, working on puzzles has fantastic benefits for your mental health. As we are all trapped in our busy lifestyles, an outlet to help lower stress levels is always a welcome advantage.
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