Have you ever wondered why we never quite outgrow the desire to put together a puzzle? Puzzle solving has a variety of benefits for children, but not too many people know that the benefits continue as we mature into adulthood. As I looked more into this topic it became clear that puzzle solving is an activity that has many benefits.
Puzzle solving helps Adults brain to stay active and young and it increases the brains capacity in the following ways:
- Lowers your Stress Levels...
- Improves Mood ...
- Improves Memory. Solving puzzles help reinforce existing connections between our brain cells. ...
- Better Problem-Solving Skills. ...
- Improved Visual-Spatial Reasoning. ...
- Increased IQ. ...
- Delay Dementia and Alzheimer's. ...
1. Lowers your Stress Levels
When you are stressed, your body automatically goes into “fight-or-flight” mode, which triggers your adrenal glands to release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These can make your heart beat faster and your blood pressure rise. As you sit down to solve a puzzle, the act of concentrating on one task, like solving a puzzle, lowers the heart rate and relaxes your body.
2. Improves Mood
Feeling irritable or short-tempered is a sensation that we all get from time to time. I have found that sitting down and getting busy with a task that is easy and pleasurable can drastically improve my mood. Often something in our lives triggers the moodiness and as we shift our focus from negative ones to one activity that requires concentration, the vicious negativity cycle gets interrupted, thereby lifting our spirits. Solving a puzzle forces you to focus on the task at hand and as each problem gets solved these small accomplishments make us feel good and thereby improve our mood. Puzzles will relax you and will prompt your brain to release dopamine, the neurotransmitter that gives you a more optimistic take on life.
3. Improves Memory
Solving puzzles help reinforce existing connections between our brain cells. Our short-term memory helps us remember shapes and colors and visualize the bigger picture to figure out which pieces will fit together.
4. Better Problem-Solving Skills
Think of solving a puzzle as a mental workout that improves your problem-solving skills and attention span. Puzzles will make you think outside the box and find creative solutions for problems – abilities that you will be able to use in everyday life as well.
5. Improved Visual-Spatial Reasoning
Visual-spatial intelligence also called “visual thinking” is the ability to comprehend 3D images and shapes and manipulate them in the mind without any help. Solving a jigsaw puzzle helps to improve spatial reasoning as you try to fit puzzle pieces into place.
6. Increased IQ
Puzzles improve the player’s vocabulary and reasoning skills. A few minutes a day spent solving puzzles can significantly improve the IQ measured with testing.
7. Delay Dementia and Alzheimer's
Solving puzzles stimulate our ability to concentrate and strengthens short-term memory. These benefits of solving puzzles through exercising our spatial, visual, and cognitive abilities help us to reduce our risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
I love to solve puzzles and have a small game table set aside where I often sit down to concentrate on finding the missing puzzle pieces. Several of my paintings have been turned into puzzles as well and you can see them here.