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Five Benefits Puzzles Have on Our Brain

By Sascha Ealey

Puzzles provide you with a perfect blend of focus, creative thinking, and improved memory. Just as staying fit and healthy is good for your health, so should finding ways to keep the brain active and sharp, which is why the RVL squad would like to present to you five benefits that puzzles have on our brain:

1. Puzzles Provide Mental Exercise

The frontal lobe (located near the forehead) of the brain is directly involved in puzzle solving. This part of the brain is responsible for decision making, perception of one’s environment, language formation, and complex cognitive processes. When you start to exercise your brain through puzzles, you start to build more circuits. The more circuits your brain builds, the more it must reach and grab information. The less your thoughts are jammed up in your brain, the faster and more efficient it is to recall memories.

Puzzles exercise both the left and right side of the brain. The right side oversees creativity, emotions, and intuitive thinking, and the left side is the logical, objective, and methodical side. When you are doing a puzzle, both sides must communicate and work together to increase cognitive function.

2. Puzzles Can Increase Your IQ

According to research conducted at the University of Michigan, puzzles can increase your IQ by 4 points. They force us to focus, use logic, and challenge us to learn new words. Puzzles require thinking critically and strategically. These are cognitive abilities that are often measured in IQ tests.

Puzzles also have the power to positively impact the lives of individuals with ADHD. By engaging in puzzles, individuals with ADHD can experience improved focus, enhance cognitive abilities, and have a greater sense of well-being. It provides a calming and therapeutic outlet. ADHD comes with hyperactivity and restlessness, but the repetitive and rhythmic nature of puzzle-solving can induce a meditative state, providing a sense of accomplishment.

3. Puzzles Improve Short-Term Memory

Puzzles are a great activity for improvement of our short-term memory. They are great at training our brains to remember a variety of shapes, sizes, and pieces. Puzzles are a form of mindful play, and it has been said by doctors that “new connections formed in our brain can play a key role in slowing the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Recent research published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry by the University of Exeter shows that elderly individuals who regular do puzzles, have sharper minds. When our brain is stretched and tested by experience, the more efficient it becomes.

4. Puzzles Increase the Production of Dopamine

Each piece that you place correctly gives your brain a little dopamine, a chemical that regulates mood, memory, and concentration. It’s a bonus to the brain when you’re in a state of creative, focused meditation and the brain can make connections on a deeper level.

5. Puzzles Puts the Mind in a Meditative State

While your hands are keeping busy, the mind is keeping calm when doing a puzzle. According to research, puzzles activate our brains while relaxing us psychologically.

Whether you are systematically organizing the puzzle shapes or randomly choosing a piece to see if it fits together, the result is still satisfying and relaxing. By fully immersing yourself in the task at hand, your attention is redirected to the present moment. Your brain enters a state of flow, like when you are meditating.

The skills learned through puzzles allow you to solve problems more efficiently as you become more aware of patterns. It also allows you to make correct decisions more effectively both at work and at home. It’s a good idea to encourage yourself and your loved ones to have some fun with puzzles. The next time you feel the pull of distraction, consider picking up a jigsaw puzzle and unlock it’s potential to transform your mind. You can enjoy the challenge of a puzzle at any age. We have plenty of puzzles that we are certain you will enjoy and motivate you at RVL Wellness Co.

See all articles in Wellness Wednesday Blog

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