Puzzles are a great way to keep your brain sharp, while also having fun. If done right, they are the perfect challenge: difficult, while also uniquely designed to be solvable. Outside of the personal benefits, they're also a great way to spend time with people that you care about. Regardless of who is present, puzzling is an enjoyable activity for adults, seniors, and kids of all ages.
So let's get into it: what are the five reasons why puzzles are good for your brain?
1. Puzzles teach problem-solving skills.
Research has shown that solving puzzles can help children learn to solve problems, and adults can use puzzles to keep their brains sharp. When you work on a puzzle, you are using your brain in ways that it doesn't usually get used in, making the process refreshing.
Have you ever felt the endorphin rush of finding and placing that long saught after puzzle piece? Us too, and it's addictive. The cool things is that puzzles help you think about the end goal, how to achieve it, and give you satifying milestones along the way. The best part? There is no right or wrong way to puzzle.
2. Puzzles promote creativity and imagination.
Puzzles are also a great way to stimulate your creativity. When you work on a puzzle, you have to piece together different parts of the puzzle to form a complete picture. This process gives puzzlers a more complete prospective, thinking not only of the segment at hand, but other placements. This is your brain thinking about how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together and it also has to be creative in order to form a useful picture.
3. Puzzles help develop and maintain flexible, sharp minds
Puzzles are one of the first ways children can stimulate their brain and later in life, it can keep your mind sharp. This is why puzzles are good for toddlers, and adults alike. In fact, many doctors suggest using and solving puzzles regularly, as a form of cognitive exercise. Whether it is a jigsaw puzzle or a Sudoku puzzle, they can help you stay mentally fit. Puzzles also positively contribute to neural plasticity - which is the act of building new connections. This tests your brain’s capacity and flexibility.
4. Puzzles help you develop new ways of thinking.
Puzzles are a great way to stimulate your brain and improve your memory. Puzzles of all sorts have been shown to improve memory, problem-solving skills, and even help you learn new languages! A study from the University of Toronto found that people who completed a puzzle for three hours a week showed significant improvement in their cognitive abilities.
These spacial reasoning, concentration, and problem solving skills are why puzzles have been shown to help your brain. Puzzles are a great way to keep your brain sharp and working at its best.
5. Puzzles are a fun way to connect with friends and family.
Puzzles are a fun way to connect with friends and family. Puzzles can be done by one person or with a group. Puzzles can also be used as a teaching tool. For example, you could use puzzles to teach shapes, colors, or math - and in group collaborations it often requires describing the pieces that you're looking for.
Puzzles are great because they are an intentional change of pace from the day-to-day world. They are also the perfect challenge, because you know there is a solution (unless you lost a puzzle piece, then you're out of luck). It's for these reasons that whatever the age or interest, puzzles make a pretty ideal gift - especially since you can customize what is printed on them now.