Mental Health

Brain Improving Benefits of Solving Challenging Puzzles

Out of all the organs in the human body, the brain is undoubtedly the most crucial one. It controls the body’s functions and helps the individual understand and interact with the world around them. That’s why it is important to maintain a healthy brain, so the mind will be kept clear and active as well as protected from the development of severe health conditions, such as neurogenerative diseases, tumors, mental disorders, and other brain-related health issues that may disturb its work.

While many people turn to complex mental workouts to boost brain power, others rely on more relaxing and versatile activities to achieve the best results. An activity that has long been considered the most effective one is jigsaw puzzles. Generally, puzzles are games that are designed to test an individual’s level of knowledge. When playing these games, the individual needs to analyze and put the different pieces together to solve the puzzle. This can have a beneficial effect on one’s brain. 

In fact, there are many challenging puzzles for adults in various sizes and unique images like the ones offered by the team over at Pixels that provide people with excellent brain-boosting benefits. They work by stimulating different parts of the brain that, in turn, improve its function and overall health.

So, if you are looking for a fun and effective way to give your brain a healthy improvement, take a look at how solving a jigsaw puzzle can help you in the process. 

Improves memory

The truth is people’s memory span weakens as they age. In most cases, they may even suffer from Alzheimer’s disease in which the main symptom is memory loss. Such patients usually repeat the same statements over and over and may have trouble expressing thoughts or taking part in conversations.

This is where jigsaw puzzles can come in handy as they require you to remember different shapes, sizes, and pieces. You must visualize the image in your mind and figure out where the piece would fit in the puzzle. When you are doing this, you are reinforcing the connections between your brain cells which further help you improve your mental speed and other thought processes. Exercising the brain this way results in maintaining and improving your short-term memory as well as your working memory. 

Although short-term memory and working memory are closely related, these two brain concepts are different from each other. Typically, working memory refers to the information that a person holds in the brain to perform certain cognitive functions. It’s an important part of the brain because it helps you learn, comprehend, and solve problems. However, when working memory isn’t in good working condition, you may be unable to concentrate and improve your cognitive skills. 

Thus, if you believe your working memory also needs a boost, solving challenging puzzles would be one of the best ways to do it. As mentioned, this training can help improve your memory and brush up on your brain functions. 

Enhances problem-solving skills

When you are solving a challenging puzzle of 500 or 1000 pieces, there is a great chance that you will make mistakes by placing the pieces in the wrong place. In many cases, this is quite stressful as all the pieces look alike which makes it really difficult to find the ones that will best fit into the puzzle.

This back and forth trial-and-error situation requires you to rely on your problem-solving skills to put the puzzle together successfully. Doing so will show you how to make predictions, test various options and change your plans according to the outcome. Improving these skills through challenging puzzles will certainly make you more innovative in real-life situations where you need to come up with valuable solutions to problems. With excellent problem-solving skills, you can deal with life’s challenges with ease, which, in turn, may improve your overall quality of life. 

Boosts personal productivity

If you are one of those people who struggles with staying focused on your work or studies, you can rely on challenging jigsaw puzzles to help you boost your personal productivity levels. They will help by activating both sides of the brain since you will be putting all of your focus on finding the right pieces to fit into the puzzle.

That’s why many companies implement jigsaw puzzles as one of the most effective team-building activities to increase collaboration, communication, and productivity. Everyone will work together to reach the common goal which in this case would be to solve the puzzle successfully. This excellent mental workout will also help improve other vital skills which contribute to improving overall productivity.

Improves visual and spatial reasoning

Whether you are trying to solve a 500 or 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, you will need to look at individual pieces and study their shapes, sizes, and colors. Doing this will help you improve your visual-spatial reasoning which is vital in important day-to-day activities like driving a car, using a map or simply following dance moves.

Also, when you are solving a puzzle, there is a great chance that the pieces will be similar to each other which will require you to pay greater attention to detail. This will help you train your eyes to find small differences in colors or shapes that will further help you complete the puzzle image. Being more detailed and precise helps improve the quality of your life

Generates higher IQ scores

The improvement in memory, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, as well as visual-spatial reasoning, contributes to raising an individual’s IQ score. In fact, according to research conducted at the University of Michigan by Dr. Susanne Jäggi, the results have shown that spending 25 minutes every day to solve a puzzle or any type of riddle can raise your intelligence quotient up to four points.

More specifically, the remembering of various geometric shapes and colors boosts fluid intelligence which is a major part of every IQ test. That’s why many children are so invested in solving jigsaw puzzles when they are young as they help them improve their general knowledge, cognitive skills and concentration. As such, children with higher IQ scores are more likely to excel in academics and finish their education with flying colors. 

Serves as a mood booster

Probably the best brain-boosting benefit you can get from solving puzzles is an enhanced mood. This type of board game can be especially challenging since you will have to look at similar pieces and try to fit them in the right place. Doing all this takes a lot of time, patience, concentration, and dedication.

Once you have successfully solved the puzzle, your brain will immediately increase the production of dopamine. This neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating mood, memory, and concentration which will make you feel much happier and encourage you to continue to challenge yourself more with these interesting jigsaw puzzles.

Besides improving your mood, puzzles will help reduce your stress levels and take your brain from the beta state to the alpha state. As a result, you’ll have a happier and more relaxed feeling afterward. 

Final thoughts

Despite being an excellent way to pass the time on the weekends or while you are vacationing, jigsaw puzzles offer numerous health benefits that especially concern the brain. Maintaining a healthy brain function keeps us sharp at all times while protecting us from developing severe medical conditions that can have an impact on our overall well-being.

From improving memory skills to enhancing the mood, puzzles should be on everyone’s top list whenever they want to engage in a brain-boosting activity.

In case you aren’t sure how they do that, make sure you refer to this post and learn about the many brain-improving benefits puzzles offer people.

Mehedi Hasan

Mehedi Hasan is an enthusiastic health blogger and the founder member of WOMS. He likes to share his thoughts to make people inspired about their fitness. He is an experienced writer and author on highly authoritative health blogs.

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