Puzzles are generally great for a time pass or as a hobby. Age is no bar to solve puzzles. There is one for every kind of person and their age. Playing or trying to solve puzzles not only does belong in the hobby group but also is great for the mind and health.
Jigsaw puzzles in particular have a lot of health benefits where it concerns the brain.
What is a jigsaw puzzle?
Jigsaw puzzles are of the tiling type which consists of shapes that need to be interlocked to solve the puzzle. The shapes are irregular but when interlocked put up a complete picture. The puzzles vary in sizes typically upon the number of pieces the entire picture or mosaic is broken into. The more number of pieces, the more complicated it is and more the level of concentration it requires to solve the puzzle.
The jigsaw puzzle is bringing back a silent revolution that makes screen time take a back seat. Ever since the pandemic began people started spending more time inside locked up in homes. Screen time not only increased for kids but also for adults. The re-entry of the jigsaw puzzles as a family game sure is a tough competitor to the screen times.
Not only that puzzle solving gave it a chance for the family to engage but it also had health benefits even for the elderly. So there is no way they’re giving you a no the next time you call them to play.
Benefits of Puzzling
Here are some benefits of puzzling that would convince you if you had not given it a thought to start and for you to convince others.
Improve visual-spatial reasoning
Imagining and visualising shape and objects position in mind to see where they fit and their relationship with other shapes is called visual-spatial reasoning. When you try putting up the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle your mind takes time to see where the pieces fit into the bog picture. This requires closer attention to the individual pieces. So improvising the skill is also helpful when you drive car, use a map , do packing or even understand movements in dance and try to master them.
Pay great attention to detail
When the puzzle has many similar pieces, it requires greater level of attention to notice the differences and help in completing the puzzle. This requires the eyes to scan for detail and understand the minute differences which can be applied to real life situations. This also plays an important role in the quality of work if we choose to apply the precision.
Improves short-term memory
Solving jigsaw puzzles helps in sparking and strengthening the neural connections. This in turn gives rise to a lot of new connections, which increase our solving speed and thought process.
When we choose a piece we look for similar pieces to make it fit into the picture. The mind visualizes the image on large scale and keeps it in memory to find similar pieces. When you store this information it helps in improving short term memory.
Problem solving capability
To solve a problem we use a lot of approaches in trial and error methodologies. We check hypothesis, theories and formulas when things don’t go as we plan them. This helps us in changing perspectives. This skill of problem solving or critical thinking can be applied to work because it helps us in having better adaptive skills.
Better mood and less stress
Solving a puzzle helps you relax and making it a stress relieving activity. It helps the brain switch states and be alert. Dopamine production is greatly increased when we solve puzzle. Dopamine is responsible for mood uplifting and optimism. Every time we set the piece in the right place dopamine gets released which makes you want to do more of it. It helps in memory, concentration and motivation.
Great activity for me-time
Solving jigsaw puzzles can be a great activity for people who want to spend time with themselves. To unwind ourselves from the digital lifestyle this is a great way to de-stress.
Exercises both left and right brain
When you solve jigsaw puzzle you exercise both the left and right brain. The left brain is logical and right brain works creative , so when you are putting up the pieces in the puzzle its a mental workout that keeps both sides engaged.
Puzzle regularly and live longer
People who solve puzzles jigsaw and crossword have less chances of developing alzheimers disease and memory loss. This increases life span. Solving puzzles help in stimulating brain and helps in warding off the plaque that marks the start of Alzheimers disease.
BENEFITS FOR KIDS
Kids benefit in many ways in terms of physical, emotional and cognition when they play jigsaw puzzles.
When we say emotional benefits we say that children improve self-confidence, self-control and patience.
The physical benefits include motor skills like hand eye coordination and fine grip between the thumb and index fingers.
The cognition improvement helps in developing their concentration and perception.
Start with puzzles that have interesting themes for children and you will definitely see them take a liking towards solving them. Happy puzzling.
This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Queen’s Brigade.