Life Benefits Well Be Using To Justify Our Jigsaw Obsession To Non
As avid jigsaw fans, we have patiently accepted our friends new found obsession with colouring books, dot-to-dots, colour-by-numbers, cross-stitch, and every other childhood hobby that’s made a comeback recently. And we’ve smiled and nodded enthusiastically along as theyve told us all about the various benefits that come with focusing all their attention on a simple creative task. Because, we know. And do you know how we know? Because weve been banging on about those very same benefits when it comes to our beloved jigsaws for years.
We also feel relaxed after completing a good puzzle. We like taking the time to sit and focus on a task we remember fondly from our childhoods. And dare we say it, we feel as though our brains our benefitting from all our puzzling. And so now, with a bee firmly in our bonnet, weve looked into it to prove that jigsaws are just as good for us as all those other childhood pastimes. Please feel free to take these with you to any social situation in which you may find your love of jigsaws attacked or ridiculed. Personally, well be keeping a print out in our pockets at all times, just in case.
1) A Chance to Escape the Digital World
2) Like a Workout, but Less Sweaty
3) A Sense of Achievement
4) A Chance to Relax
5) Pay Attention
6) A Health Kick for your Hands
Do Brain Games Help Brain Health
Sep 23, 2019Kyle Beswick
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s power to rewire itself and make new connections in response to learning and stimulation.
It’s 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.”
Benefits Of Brain Games For Aging Adults
Working at brain-challenging exercises wont reduce your risk of Alzheimers disease or other kinds of dementia, nor will it reduce progression rates of these diseases, says Zaldy Tan, M.D., director of the Cedars-Sinai Memory and Aging Program and medical director of the Jona Goldrich Center for Alzheimers and Memory Disorders at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
But they do provide significant benefits and can make your life better, he says.
Jigsaw Puzzles Can Help Your Problem Solving Skills
This is one we want you to take with a grain of salt. While the science behind ‘left-brain’ and ‘right-brain’ is always up for debate, some suggest that puzzles help stimulate both sides of the brain. This means when you’re putting a puzzle together you’re engaging both your creative and logical side, which improves your problem solving skills! So, whether you’re using a puzzle to improve your logic skills or you need a creative outlet, a puzzle is perfect for you!
A Workout For Your Mind
Brain games stimulate different cognitive functions, such as executive function and processing speed, in older adults. And they can enhance your life in other ways. They can help your social life, particularly in group trainings that provide socialization that otherwise you wont have, says Dr. Tan. Similar to exercising in a workout class with a friend, the experience itself is enhanced by being with other people.
Healthy Heart Healthy Brain
Grill pointed out the importance of a healthy heart.
Some suggests that reducing cardiac risk factors in the middle adult years is just as, or even more important than, the types of genes you carry for risk of developing amyloid plaques later in life.
Many of us believe that theres no more significant risk factor for getting Alzheimers than the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain, said Grill.
So, he continued, if youre in your 40s and 50s and you smoke and you dont exercise and your diet isnt the healthiest in the world, changing two of the three of those could be more impactful than changing your genes, if you were able, to the risk for developing amyloid plaques later in life.
Do A Crossword Puzzle
When you attempt a crossword puzzle, you use verbal memory as you seek words that match a certain number of letters that fit descriptive phrases. One study in the Journal of the International Neuropsychology Society found a possible connection between completing crossword puzzles and the delayed onset of accelerated memory decline in people who developed dementia.
Also, the range of difficulty in available crossword puzzles is hugestarting at mini crosswords of easy three- or four-letter words.
Benefits Of Doing Jigsaw Puzzles For Your Brain
The concept of puzzles is hardly a new one. We can see that the origins of this concept can be traced back to the 1700s. As you can presume, theres a long road from the 1700s to the 2020s. They have evolved from hand-cut wooden educational tools to the ones we have the pleasure to see these days. In case you would like to take a look at how quality jigsaw puzzles, be sure to take a look at .
No child hasnt experienced at least one of these during childhood, right? Every nineties kid knows just how popular they were back then. At the same time, we can see that their popularity didnt decline after all these years. Not only that they are now used as toys, but they are also using for education in a lot of kindergartens and schools all over the world.
In the last couple of years, a couple of studies have proven that jigsaw puzzles offer a lot of benefits to a childs brain. At the same time, there are benefits for grown people as well. Therefore, we would like to provide you with a couple of the most important ones. Without further ado, lets take a look at some of these.
Keeping Our Brains Healthy
Grill said, For the last several years theres been a strong interest in the increasingly clear relationship between how we act and treat our bodies and our brains throughout life and the risk of developing cognitive problems later in life.
As much as half of the risk for developing Alzheimers disease and late life cognitive problems could be due to lifestyle choices and behaviors, he continued. And whether we engage in cognitive activities like puzzles is very much on that list.
Grill admits that we still have a way to go before we learn all the answers, but he is still a big supporter of cognitive activities like doing word puzzles.
When in your life you engage in these behaviors, what behaviors we can and should engage in, and how much of those behaviors we can and should engage in to maximize the reduction in risk, all remain open questions, he said.
Studies linking intellectually stimulating activities to cognitive function are not new. However, what makes the Exeter study so unique is its sheer size.
Dr. Howard Fillit, founding executive director and chief science officer of the Alzheimers Drug Discovery Foundation pointed out that, One large clinical trial known as the ACTIVE study reported that playing a specific type of brain training game reduced the risk of developing dementia.
The ACTIVE study used a game that Fillit said trained speed-of-processing, which was designed to improve the speed and accuracy of a persons visual attention.
How Puzzles Promote Health And Wellness
Puzzles are fun and entertaining, but their benefits go beyond simple recreation. In fact, playing and solving puzzles on a regular basis can benefit adults and children in various ways. Puzzles often stimulate problem-solving centers in the brain and can improve brain health. Researchers have found that, by completing crossword puzzles, playing challenging games or doing other puzzle-related activities, individuals may be less likely to develop brain plaques that have been tied to Alzheimer’s disease.
Data published in the Archives of Neurology found a distinct connection between people who exercised their minds with stimulating activities in their early and middle years and brain health. This group had less Beta-amyloid protein uptake in their brains, which is linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s, than those who didn’t engage in puzzles during the same time frame.
Beyond their health benefits, puzzles offer some additional perks.
It Sharpens The Thinking Process
A brain teaser is essentially a thinking puzzle, using logic to find the answer. Although the riddle or sudoku they are trying to solve may be simple, you need to implement a different process of thinking to solve it. Lateral thinking, or solving problems with an indirect or creative approach, is often used and helps you come to a solution from a different angle. As brain teasers are designed to stretch your mind, you are encouraged to think of coming at the problem in an alternative way, a practice which can help children later in life.
Reduced Risk Of Dementia And Alzheimers
It sounds like a clickbait-y claim, but this study from Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience explains that engaging your brain with activities like jigsaw puzzles can reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimers.
Puzzles are great problem-solving activities which support the growth of new nerve cells and can reduce the amount of brain cell damage that occurs in Alzheimers patients. Next time youre worried youre spending too much time puzzling, think of the humble jigsaw puzzles preventative power!
Brain Teasers That Require Some Serious Thinking
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!
Spoiler Alert: Brain Teaser Answers
Did any of these thinking puzzles leave you stumped? Share how many you got right in the comments below!
Many Older Adults Enjoy Brain Games Like Crosswords Chess And Computer Games But Can They Help Improve Memory
If you are like many adults, you enjoy a good crossword, a weekly card game, or even the latest addictive phone app game. You probably even relish the mental boost they provide.
But do these types of brain games help with brain health, especially for protecting against memory loss? Well, it’s complicated.
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Heres How Jigsaw Puzzles Can Benefit Brain And Mental Health Conditions
Generally speaking, mental health refers to the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being of a person. It affects how people think, act, and feel which basically constitutes their daily living, relationships, and physical health.
Unfortunately, health conditions such as stress, depression, or anxiety can affect mental health and disrupt a persons routine. According to statistics from late June 2020, about 40% of U.S. adults have reported struggling with a mental health disorder. Consequently, discussions about mental health are becoming increasingly common and many are reaching out for help. Theres even been a World Mental Health Day established since 2019 to educate and increase awareness of mental illnesses and to help people cope with these problems.
Besides following up on such discussions, there are other ways to make mental health problems more manageable. Theyre considered a hobby and a fun way to pass the time. That said, jigsaw puzzles prove beneficial in dealing with mental problems as well.
In this post, we are going to elaborate on how to use jigsaw puzzles for adults suffering from mental health conditions as well as how they help with child development.
Brain Teaser Riddles Can Help Improve Cognitive Function
The brain is neuroplastic, meaning it has the ability to shift and change over time. Many people believe our brains age as we do, growing less powerful, less capable, less competent over time.
What most dont realize, however, is that you have the ability to manipulate your brain the way a sculptor molds clay.
The brain is susceptible to all we expose it topeople, music, workeven the physical environments we traverse on a day to day basis. Everything we partake in has the potential to subtly shift the wiring of our brain.
The question is: how do we wire our brains for the better?
Thats where brain puzzles and teasers come in. We can enhance our mental fitness by exposing the brain to puzzles that challenge our normal modes of thinking.
Ever heard of the phrase use it or lose it? Thats quite literally true when it comes to the way our brains age. When we dont actively seek novel experiences that expose our minds to all sorts of new and challenging stimuli, our neuroreceptors die off from disuse.
Brain teasers can help keep the mind stimulated by encouraging it to think and act in new and novel ways. Lateral thinking keeps us feeling fresh, creative, on our toes, so to speak, when tackling new problems. And we arent often given the opportunity to exercise lateral thinking in our day to day lives.Brain games, teasers, and brain riddles offer that opportunity.
See If Crossword Puzzles Sudoku And Brain Training Websites Are Worth The Hype
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 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 , 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
Crosswords Are A Great Way To Relax And Unwind
In this extremely competitive and aggressive world, our daily lives are filled with personal and professional issues and difficulties. Everyone is stressed, tensed, and strained to their maximum point. Relaxation is crucial for maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle.
But how do you relax and take care of your overworked body? Playing crossword not only lets you unwind your body but also relaxes your mind. Filled with intrigues and enticement, the world of crosswords will force you to let go of all your worries.
The brainstorming session to solve the problems, identify the right clue, and utilize it to get the answer is a great stress booster. You can easily get lost in the beautiful world of crosswords and forget about all your real-life problems.
Some websites even avail crossword games where you can earn real money. What can be more relaxing than sitting back, playing crossword puzzle games, and earning money! It will do wonders for your mental health.
Solving Puzzles Produce An Extra Dose Of Dopamine
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.
Different Types Of Puzzles Stimulate Different Parts Of The Brain
In a sense, the vast array of puzzles spans all the cognitive skills, from spatial thinking to language and reasoning, says Marcel Danesi, professor of semiotics and anthropology at Victoria College, University of Toronto, and author of Though specific types of puzzles can be used to stimulate particular areas of the brain. He gives the examples of puzzles that deal with the faculty of languagelike riddles and acrosticsare likely to stimulate the language areas of the brain, while those that deal with some aspect of logical thinking, such as placing symbols in a particular way in a grid, are likely to stimulate logic-processing areas.
Helps You Deal With Real
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.
Jigsaw Puzzles Can Decrease Stress Levels
At the core of our business here at Lemonade Pursuits, we believe in the power of puzzles when it comes to relaxation and de-stressing oneself! Science tends to back this belief up, puzzles can be meditative and allow our stress hormones and relaxation hormones to balance out. You could even see a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate when putting together a puzzle! When one meditates they are focusing solely on one thing, this state of consciousness is similar once someone gets into the groove of putting together a jigsaw puzzle! So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try grabbing a puzzle and sitting down with it for a few minutes to get yourself back!
While on the topic of the meditative aspects of puzzles we can find another benefit!
Harder Puzzles Change The Patterns Of Brain Activity
Most brain activity follows certain pathways through the brainsuperhighways researchers call low-dimensional manifold; no matter what type of puzzle youre doing, your activity will likely move along those highways. But when youve encountered a particularly sticky crossword clue or a sudoku you just cant manage, it may activate some new parts of your brain to help you solve the problem. These brain games are guaranteed to boost your brainpower.
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.
Benefits Of Jigsaw Puzzles For Brain And Mental Health
Dementia is the umbrella term used to refer to memory loss and decline of other thinking abilities. According to statistics, adults over the age of 65 are considered the most vulnerable age group to this illness. Health conditions that fall into the category of are usually caused by abnormal changes in the brain that can affect peoples overall behavior, feelings, and relationships.
Many of these conditions can be progressive. This means that signs of dementia can start out slowly and gradually get worse. Since one of the most common symptoms of dementia is memory loss, jigsaw puzzles can provide exercise to improve brain functions including short-term memory. They relieve these symptoms and provide comfort and a sense of control to patients suffering from dementia. Also, doing custom photos or personalized puzzles can help evoke memories in the process. Completing a jigsaw puzzle can give such patients the so-called feel-good effect, producing dopamine in the brain which will provide them with a feeling of accomplishment.
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimers disease, accounting for about 60% to 80% of cases. It is a progressive disorder which leads to the degeneration of brain cells. Like dementia, one early sign of the disease is forgetfulness. As it progresses, a person suffering from Alzheimers disease will develop serious memory loss. They can also lose the ability to do everyday tasks.