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Do Puzzles Help Your Brain

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Playing Daily Crossword Puzzles Can Enhance Your Memory

What Do Puzzles do to Your Brain? A Neurology Expert Explains

Taking some time to solve a crossword puzzle every day can have a significant impact on your memory. Are you one of those who is constantly forgetting small things and occasions? This problem is more common than you might think. A majority of our population face a continuous decline in their memory as they begin to age.

Working on crossword puzzles regularly can curb this problem and enhance our memory power. It not only strengthens the prevailing connection between our brain cells but also set up new connections to augment the process. The addition of these new connections can increase our mental speed and boost our thought process.

Solving puzzles is beneficial for people from all age groups. Young minds are still malleable and their memory needs to be strengthened. They are advised to solve a daily crossword puzzle to grow their brain capacity and enhance their memory. Adults and rapidly aging individuals especially need help when it comes to their memory. The ever-increasing age can weaken their memory and affect their brain capacity.

Solving a daily crossword puzzle is a great way to exercise their brain and keep their memory sharp. Puzzles can also help in keeping a variety of memory-related neurological diseases including dementia, Alzheimers, and more.

Do Brain Games Help Brain Health

Sep 23, 2019Kyle Beswick

Neuroplasticity is the brains power to rewire itself and make new connections in response to learning and stimulation.

Its this ever-changing process in the brain tissue that keeps you sharppreserving memories and storing knowledge as you agewhile fending off neurodegeneration, a condition that can lead to diseases such as and .

Challenging your brain to learn something newsuch as a foreign language or a musical instrumenthas been shown, both in healthy individuals and patients dealing with mild cognitive impairment, to improve brain structures and neuroplasticity.

So-called brain exercises such as crossword puzzles or sudoku are thought to keep your brain cells active and healthy, but do they actually boost neuroplasticity?

According to vascular neurologist Dr. Oana Dumitrascu, assistant professor of , keeping the brain healthy is more complex than simply doing daily puzzles from the comfort of your couch.

Repetitive activities and staying in your comfort zone will not improve your neuroplasticity, says Dr. Dumitrascu. You need to challenge yourself every day.

What Science Has Shown About Game Playing And Cognition

While long-term research is still needed to determine whether specific games can play a role in keeping the brain healthy and how or if timing is a factor preliminary studies appear to show a link between game playing and lower risk or delay of at least one type of age-related memory loss.

Mentally stimulating activities like using a computer, playing games, crafting, and participating in social activities are linked to a lower risk or delay of age-related memory loss called mild cognitive impairment , and the timing and number of these activities may also be important, according to a study published in August 6, 2019, in Neurology.

Researchers found that engaging in social activities, such as going to the movies or going out with friends, or playing games in both middle age and later life, were associated with a 20 percent lower risk of developing MCI. In addition, the more activities people engaged in during later life, the less likely they were to develop MCI.

That said, study authors point out that the study is observational, so its not possible to determine a cause-and-effect relationship. Its possible that instead of the activities lowering a persons risk, a person with mild cognitive impairment simply may not be able to participate in these activities as often. So further research is needed to investigate these findings.

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Can Solving Puzzles Improve Memory

As I mentioned earlier, puzzles are great for your short term memory. Regularly exercising your brain improves your cognitive abilities and reduces brain aging that eventually leads to memory loss in dementia patients. Using puzzles for this purpose are especially helpful to young children when you are trying to build a better holding memory for them or for your ageing relatives.

The elderly can use puzzles as a form of staying alert and exercising their brains.

Puzzles may have no effect on your long-term memory- except as an impact of having an overall sharp mind- but studies carried out only suggest they are helpful with short term memory.

Jigsaw puzzles are especially helpful with memory improvement because they require you to remember things like the color of the pieces, the sizes, the shapes, where they fit in and how they fit in. Not only is this enjoyable, it keeps you sharp and alert. It takes you one step further away from dementia and memory loss and one step closer to having a better memory.

Helps You Deal With Real

15 Best Brain Exercises to Prevent Alzheimers and Dementia

All of us are constantly struggling with a plethora of real-life problems, just searching for easy and smart ways to solve them. Despite going through such difficult times, we know the end result will be worth its while. The world of crossword puzzles is quite similar.

The puzzles are not that easy to solve but you know once you solve them the result will be unimaginable. You rack your brain, squeeze it to its maximum potential to solve different puzzles every day. And once you have successfully solved it, you get new confidence and vigor to take your real-life problems head-on.

The entire process of solving crossword puzzles include structured thinking, careful planning, and practical considerations. You not only learn these traits but also get to apply them to your real-life problems. The simple task of solving crossword puzzles regularly helps you study the patterns of life and assists you in solving real-life problems with ease and optimism.

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Jigsaw Puzzles Arent Just Fun They Can Also Relieve Anxiety Especially When You Put Them Together Well Together

While out shopping for Christmas presents in 2018, I bought myself a jigsaw puzzle on a whim. It was an unusual buy, one that I now recognize as an attempt at dealing with that particular stress many of us experience during the holidays. Dont get me wrongI love seeing my family. But holiday get-togethers have a way of putting any personal shortcomings at center stage. This cheery pink puzzle had everything I felt I needed to distract myself in one box. And at $20, the price was right. Why not?

As soon as I started on my puzzle, I knew Id found exactly what I was looking for. Instead of my usual late-night Netflix binge, I was sorting its 1,000 pieces well into the wee hours. I finished it in just a few days. I felt possessed by the soothing, methodical action, almost like Id been hypnotized or spent hours meditating.

Robyn Breen, a dance instructor at Misfitstudio in Toronto, Canada, knows the feeling. At a family gathering years ago, Breen was reintroduced to puzzles and fell in love with its soothing effect. I thought, Whoa, I feel really good when Im doing this. I feel really chill, she recalls. Breen suffers from anxiety, and when she was having worrisome thoughts about an upcoming trip to Nicaragua, she turned to puzzling instead of prescription medication. It worked, and jigsaws have since become an essential part of her daily routine.

Jigsaw Puzzles Are Great For Building Teamwork

While I’m not sure if you’ve experienced that team building exercise of trying to put puzzle pieces together, I can say that this is true of puzzles! Back in grade school we were once separated into different groups, each group was given a puzzle and we were told that whatever group finished first would win a prize! The secret was that we didn’t have all of the pieces in our box, and it was mixed in with another teams puzzle!

We were made to build up our communication and teamwork skills! So, the next time you’re completing a puzzle with a partner you’re actually building up both your communication and teamwork skills! At that rate, why stop with one partner? Grab your friends and build up your synergy!

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Are Sudokus Good For The Brain

Sudoku poses as a challenging puzzle that is meant to exercise and keep your brain alert and sharp. A study showed that people over 50 who engaged in puzzles like Sudoku were cognitively sharper than those who dont. They also had better brain functionality.

Sudoku improves your mental alertness, increases your problem solving ability and promotes self-motivation. Actively engaging in puzzles like this greatly reduces mental decline, especially in old age. It improves reasoning and numerical abilities and you will learn new ways of solving problems.

Brain Teasers That Require Some Serious Thinking

Do You Know Your ABCs? Boost Your Brain with this ABCs Puzzle Tutorial

Before you go, weve got a couple more brain teasers for you to try. Share them with family and friends and see how many youre able to guess correctly! But be warnedthese ones are real stumpers!

  • Youre being chased through a labyrinth and need to escape. Youve reached a dead end with three doors before you. The door on the left leads to a blazing inferno, the door on the right leads to a group of expertly trained assassins, and the door in the center leads to a ferocious lion that hasnt eaten in three months. Which door do you choose?
  • You stand in a dark room with a wood stove, an oil lamp, and a candle. You only have one match. What do you light first?
  • A woman stands on one side of a stream and her dog stands on the other. The woman calls her dog over to her. The dog crosses the stream and gets to the other side without getting wet. The dog didnt use a rock, log, or bridge to cross the stream. How is this possible?
  • Spoiler Alert: Brain Teaser Answers

  • The center door. A lion that hasnt eaten in three months is most likely dead.
  • The match.
  • It was winter and the stream was frozen.
  • Did any of these thinking puzzles leave you stumped? Share how many you got right in the comments below!

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    Can Puzzles Make Children Smarter

    Any time we stretch our brains and attempt something new, were helping to create and strengthen neural pathways. Especially when tackling problems which use multiple parts of our brain and require thinking in different ways. These activities can sharpen our mind and help to keep it that way a little like a fitness regime.

    Just as we need regular and varied exercise to stay in optimum physical health, the same approach can be applied to exercising our brains. Brain games such as sudoku and crossword puzzles, have been found to protect the brain from decline. For example through delaying and reducing the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimers disease. Setting aside time for puzzles within class schedules and at home is beneficial for the following reasons. They can:

    • Make school subjects more enjoyable
    • Foster familiarity and fluency in terminology and concepts
    • Develop many transferable skills such as initiative, logical thinking, problem-solving and an ability to cope with failure
    • Improve spatial skills and awareness

    Broadly speaking, there are many puzzles which can aid the development of skills such as grouping and sorting, ordering numbers and visuospatial abilities such as coordinating and matching shapes in early years. But in this post, we are focusing on brain games aimed at key stage two and above.

    Our Moments Couples: Conversation Starters For Great Relationships

    Its also important to keep your emotional intelligence sharp by engaging in conversations where you evoke and attune to the emotions of others. Take time to have a meaningful conversation with a loved one and improve your emotional intelligence by observing and asking how they feel during the conversation, says Schewitz.

    This card pack is filled with stimulating questions like Whats something that youll never try again? or What have you lost since childhood that youd like to regain?

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    They Trigger Bonding If Solved In A Group

    I mentioned collaborative cruciverbalism above. In plain words, it means working together in a group. The group may consist of cooperative couples, a band of brothers, a society of sisters, or a flock of friends. According to Lukits, working in a group will improve the speed of thinking and talking. Solving puzzles in a group can also strengthen social bonds.

    Solving Puzzles Produce An Extra Dose Of Dopamine

    You Asked: Do Brain Games Keep My Mind Sharp?

    Have you ever solved an online crossword puzzle or on the newspaper that you never thought you could? Do you remember the extreme sense of satisfaction and accomplishment you felt when you finally solved the entire crossword?

    It was the dopamine being released into your brain that causes such an intense feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction, and happiness. You do not have to solve extremely difficult and complicated puzzles or make a huge breakthrough, even a simple puzzle can boost the dopamine production in your brain.

    The release of dopamine in your brain not only improves your motor skills but also elevates your concentration power. It makes you feel more confident, optimistic, and capable of greater things.

    It is the reason why after solving one puzzle, we have an intense need to solve a more difficult and challenging one. Such a simple task or solving crossword puzzles daily avail such serious and intense benefits.

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    A Fun Pastime Can Also Be A Rewarding Mental Exercise

    Puzzles are by no means new and have been practiced since the 18th century. They are a fun family or solo pastime and can engage all generations. Nearly everyone you know has done at least one jigsaw puzzle as a child or an adult. And no wonder! While doing a puzzle, we are disconnected, focused, away from the day-to-day stress, and engaged in an immersive task.

    Another exciting aspect is that solving challenging puzzles for adults gives us a great sense of achievement and satisfaction once we complete the design. And in this sense, the team at has brought puzzles to the next level by offeringjigsaw puzzles created by independent artists from all over the world. In fact, you could say that their puzzles are an art form in itself.

    But regardless of whether your interest lies in a 1,000-piece jigsaw, newspaper crosswords, or a wood brain teaser, all puzzles share one key element they power your brain. In this article, we will reveal to you five ways how puzzles entertain and challenge our brains.

    They Improve Visual And Spatial Reasoning

    You need to be able to look at individual parts of a jigsaw puzzle, or available spaces in a crossword puzzle and figure out how to fit the pieces or words into their space. If done regularly, according to USA Today, this will improve your visual and spatial reasoning skills and that translates into being a better driver and can make you a Tetris-like packer .

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    What Puzzles Are Good For Your Brain

    Puzzles are great exercises for building and improving the brain. However, you have to be selective in choosing the kinds of puzzles to focus on for this exercise. As some critics claim, some puzzles will only serve to entertain you temporarily and not make any meaningful impact in your life. This is why you have to be selective when choosing a puzzle. When choosing a puzzle, you should consider one that is challenging. You should also consider puzzles that test your memory, your observational skills, your numeric or math skills.

    There are puzzles that are also great for languages, learning new words and their meanings and generally improving your logical abilities. There are puzzles that test your general knowledge level and teach you new things. Some puzzles challenge you into deep critical thinking and coming up with new ways of solving problems, and arms you with a wider perspective of things. I put together a list of puzzles that are good for your brain. They also serve as entertainment where required. This list has general knowledge, numerical, logical and word, critical thinking and perception in the category level.

    See If Crossword Puzzles Sudoku And Brain Training Websites Are Worth The Hype

    Increase your brain power do Crossword Puzzles

    Posted March 4, 2014

      A recent column by New York Times blogger Nick Bilton discusses the addictive quality of video games and how we might use them to make our minds stronger, faster and healthier.

      According to Bilton’s piece, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco are using neuroimaging techniques to peer into gamers’ heads, collecting data to help make video games that “change as you play, getting easier or harder, depending on your performance.” The goal is eventually to develop games that rewire our brains to improve memory and cognitive function.

      But with all the buzz about brain gamessuch as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and even brain training websitesit begs the question: Can brain games be beneficial to brain health?

      As a cognitive neuroscientist, this is a question I get asked a lot. And the answer is yes and no.

      While the games are fun and engaging, there is insufficient scientific evidence to suggest brain training as it exists now can significantly improve an individual’s higher-order cognitive ability.

      If you like brain games there is no harm in doing them, but chances are you are better off giving your brain some downtime and gearing up for deeper level thinking. I recommend taking practical steps to build and maintain robust brain health. The first simple step is to stop habits that work against healthy frontal lobe function.

      Copyright Sandra Bond Chapman

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