There are many different reasons to why your brain can benefit from working on puzzles, along with many practical applications that can improve your life.
For many who retain a newspaper subscription, the first thing they look at each day isn’t the front page. It isn’t the sports page, either. Similarly skipped are the funnies, opinion columns, financial, and politics in favor of one of the few intentionally blank spaces within the newspaper: the puzzles. What is a favorite daily activity for these people is also known to positively impact mental functions. Here’s a look at five of the different ways puzzles are good for your brain.
Stimulates Different Brain Areas
One of the most remarkable ways puzzles positively impact your brain is the different areas the activity stimulates. Puzzles stimulate the area associated with hunting as we search for solutions. It also causes us to use reasoning, logic, creativity, and problem solving to finish the challenge.
Feel Less Stressed
When we’re working on a task we enjoy, it puts us in a better mood, lowering our stress levels in the process. Another way to relieve stress is simply by concentrating on the puzzle. This concentration frees up other parts of your brain to relax into a more meditative state.
Puzzles help our memory in many ways. The daily crossword with our favorite pen and cup of coffee forces us to remember and rationalize the answer to clues. Doing a huge jigsaw puzzle over the weekend makes us remember the shape of the puzzle pieces we are hunting. Any activity that gets us using our brain can help stave off cognitive decline and memory loss.
One of the best things for many people about completing a puzzle is the gratification that comes from completing the task. When we finish a challenging puzzle, it releases endorphins in our brain to make us feel good about ourselves. This makes you more likely to complete more puzzles, and a byproduct is all the other ways puzzles are good for your brain.
Improve Problem Solving
Perhaps the most apparent benefit to completing puzzles is your improved problem-solving skills. You need to work things out while doing puzzles such as visual and spatial reasoning that have additional practical applications. The ability to solve problems and think critically are two skills that everybody should possess.