10 Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles
Though youngsters may turn to electronic devices for gaming and puzzles, the popularity of jigsaw puzzling is on the rise. Many adults are finding them a great way to unwind and to challenge their brain in a new way. Even celebrities like, Sir Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and Rory McIlroy find them stimulating! So here are 10 health benefits of jigsaw puzzles:
The science bit, solving puzzles strengthens the existing connections between our braincells. It also improves the generation of new connections. As a result, mental speed and though process improves. Jigsaw puzzles are particularly good at improving short term memory. Puzzlers must remember certain shapes and colours and where they fit into the puzzle. They need to visualize the finished piece to see how the pieces slot together.
Better Visual-Spatial Reasoning
As mentioned above, when solving the jigsaw, we look at different pieces and figure out where they fit into the larger picture. This helps to improve our visual-spatial awareness. This is a skill we use regularly in everyday life, for example, driving a car, packing a box or suitcase, map reading etc.
Improved Problem-Solving Skills
Puzzles require us to take different approaches to solving them. The end goal is to complete the puzzle, but there are many different paths we can take to do this. Fitting the correct pieces together can be a matter of trial and error. We learn the importance of formulating theories, testing them, and adapting when the plan does not come together. These skills can be transferred to the workplace, making us more adaptable and innovative employees.
Increased Attention to Detail
Often, when completing a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces can look remarkably similar in colour or cut. Paying attention to the details, the subtle differences, help us solve the puzzle. An ability to pick up on the finer details is a great skill to have in our work life. Our quality of work can literally improve!
Increase Your IQ
Dr. Susanne Jäggi, from the University of Michigan, led a team of researchers to investigate the benefits of puzzling. They found that spending just 25 minutes a day doing a puzzle, can increase your IQ levels by 4 points.
Completing a jigsaw can have a similar effect on you to meditation. It generates a sense of calm and peace, a form of mindfulness. By concentrating on the puzzle alone, our minds are cleared of other stresses and anxieties we may be facing.
When we are stressed or agitated, we find it harder to concentrate. When concentration improves, productivity can soar! Taking time out from work or school to work on a jigsaw puzzle, is therefore a great way to reset the brain. Even a few minutes can help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle anything!
Completing a jigsaw puzzle is a fantastic solo past-time, particularly if you live alone. It is easy to become absorbed into completing the puzzle, and the hours can whizz by! The satisfaction you feel as you slot that final piece of the puzzle in place, is second to none! What a great emotional buzz.
Likewise, completing a puzzle with family, friends or work-colleagues is a great way to improve teamwork. Build collaboration through discussion and interaction. Researchers at Yale University found that solving puzzles at work improved relationships and the ability to co-operate together.
It is Fun!
Every time we place a piece into the correct place, we get a release of Dopamine into our system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and optimism. Our brains move from a ‘Beta’ state (wakeful) to an ‘Alpha’ state (the same state we are in when dreaming) when puzzling. This lowers stress levels and improves our mood. Finally, what a great feeling, completing the challenge and seeing the puzzle in its full form!
So, after reading the 10 health benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles, what’s not to love? Start reaping the benefits of completing a jigsaw puzzle today! They are a complete work out for your brain, exercising both the left and right sides. They will improve your cognitive function, can delay the onset of Alzheimer and Dementia, and will certainly help you to chill out! We stock a lovely array of Gibsons Jigsaw puzzles here at Sweet and Nostalgic, so come and have a look and start puzzling!