Have you ever heard that working jigsaw puzzles is good for your health? Well, believe it or not, it’s true! There have been numerous scientific studies that prove how helpful working puzzles can be to your brain, your memory, and more. Here you will find all sorts of information on how working jigsaws can help not only your brain, but also help your overall wellness.
Jigsaw Puzzles – Brain Health
When you work a jigsaw puzzle, your whole brain is involved, both halves working together to find the solution. The left side of our brain is the analytical side. It logically tries to sort out all of the puzzle pieces. Meanwhile, the right side of our brain, which is the creative side, works right alongside the left side by seeing the “big picture” and instinctively trying to solve it.
By working together in this way, connections are formed between both hemispheres of the brain. Connections are also formed between individual brain cells. All of these connections help reinforce our short-term memory.
Another great thing that happens when working jigsaw puzzles is that dopamine is produced. Dopamine is a special type of brain chemical that is called a neurotransmitter, which means it carries information from one brain cell to another. So, it helps us learn and remember things better. The reason dopamine is produced is because working puzzles is a fun activity!
It’s a win-win situation when you can exercise your brain, help it be healthier, and at the same time have loads of FUN! But the brain isn’t the only thing that benefits from working puzzles.
Working a puzzle can actually lead you into a dream-like state, mesmerizing you for a time, and well, take you “out of yourself”. It’s relaxing, calming, and a great way to unwind after a hard day at work. That means it’s great for your mental state of mind, and when your mental state is healthy, that trickles down through your body.
Your heartbeat is slower, steadier, your breathing more even. All of that combines to help your blood flow better, meaning all of your organs receive good nourishment, which can often lead to lower blood pressure and improved health.
Working puzzles can improve your mood and make you feel better about yourself and the world you live in. Every time you place a piece correctly, that’s a small accomplishment. And, once the whole puzzle is complete, WOW…you can sit back and take pride in what you did…that’s so uplifting!
Fine Motor Skills
Working a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to improve your fine motor skills. Adults and children, even toddlers, can benefit greatly from it. There are all sorts of puzzles for children, and many puzzles for toddlers as well.
Just be aware that you should purchase age-appropriate puzzles for the children in your life. If a puzzle is too easy, they might get bored with it, and if it is too difficult, they may think it’s too hard for them to do and get frustrated. The right puzzle, however, can give a child unlimited fun, and they will have all the healthy benefits at the same time!
Most people probably don’t even think about their hand-eye coordination, but it’s another skill that can be improved by working puzzles. Just as both halves of your brain work together to solve the puzzle, your hands and eyes work together to place each piece. The more puzzles you work, the better that coordination gets.
Family & Friends
These days, with all of the different social media, electronic games, etc., it can be easy to kind of “lose touch” with family and friends. A nice way to combat that is to have a day, or night, to forget the electronics and just “re-bond” with family and/or friends.
Set up a table with a puzzle on it, and it’s an automatic attraction to anyone in the room. Humans are just “wired” to try to solve puzzles and to put together anything that is in pieces.
There are different ways that you could work puzzles as well. You could all work on one puzzle together, or you could set up multiple puzzles and race to see who finishes first. Whichever way you decide to work your puzzles, the end result is that you will have a wonderful time of fun with your family members or your friends!
Some people like to have a nice, quiet space of time to unwind and forget the pressures of this crazy world we live in. For someone like that, working a puzzle is an excellent idea. They can have hours of fun and “refresh” their senses while doing so.
That’s just one more benefit of jigsaw puzzles…they can be worked with a group of people, OR just by oneself. It’s always up to the individual how they, personally, want to enjoy it.