10 SURPRISING BENEFITS OF DOING PUZZLES
When we think of puzzles, we usually think of a hobby, a way to pass time and relax. The truth is that, in addition to having fun for a while, they also have numerous health benefits. From helping children in their skills development, through improving your memory and mood, to preventing major illnesses in the elderly.
BENEFITS OF PUZZLES
1. Mental exercise
Doing puzzles can be considered a complete brain exercise since it exercises both the right and left sides. The right is in charge of creativity, emotions and intuitive thinking; and the left is the logical, objective and methodical side.
When you do a puzzle both sides must communicate and work together, increasing cognitive function. The occipital lobe is the area where the brain connects colors and shapes and it is also activated. Exercising the mind helps prevent cognitive decline.
2. Better Visual-Spatial Reasoning
To assemble a puzzle we see different pieces and we must place them within a larger image. Doing this exercise regularly helps us improve our spatial reasoning.
3. Greater Attention to Detail
When solving a puzzle, especially if the pieces are very similar, it is crucial to pay attention to details. You need to train your eyes to find the small differences in colors or shapes that will help you complete the image. The ability to capture small details can help us in all aspects of our lives, especially at work. When we are more detailed and precise, the quality of our work improves.
4. Improve memory
Strengthens neural connections and increases the generation of new connections. This increases mental speed and thought processes.
When we pick up a piece, you have to search among the others for a color or shape that you have in mind and visualize the image on a large scale to see which pieces go together.
When you exercise the part of the brain in charge of storing this information helps to maintain and improve short-term memory.
5. Increase your IQ
Researchers from the University of Michigan, led by Dr. Susanne Jäggi, found that spending 25 minutes a day solving puzzles and riddles can raise your IQ by 4 points.
6. Improve problem solving ability
To solve the puzzles you take different approaches to try to solve a problem, since it is a trial and error test. You also learn the value of formulating theories, testing hypotheses, and changing your perspectives when something doesn't go as planned.
These skills can be transferred to work, making you more innovativing in problem solving, more critical thinking, and better adaptive skills.
7. Increased productivity
When you are happier and less stressed, it is easier to focus. When your concentration improves, your productivity skyrockets. If you're having trouble staying focused on your studies or work, consider taking a short break to do a puzzle and reset your brain. Many offices are beginning to include puzzles and similar games in their resting areas. These games help employees disconnect from work for a few minutes and come back refreshed and ready to start again.
8. Better collaboration and teamwork
Another reason to incorporate puzzles into your workplace is that they help build collaboration between coworkers. Yale University researchers found that when workers can puzzle together in the workspace it helped them improve their relationships and the ability to cooperate and teamwork.
9. Better mood
Solving puzzles has a great benefit, it increases brain production of dopamine. This neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating mood and optimism. It also affects learning, memory, concentration, and motivation. Dopamine is released every time we do a puzzle and even every time we put a piece in the right place. This encourages us to continue to do so and challenge ourselves.
10. Decrease stress level
In addition to challenging us, it also helps us relax. Our brains go from "Beta" or awake, to a state of "Alpha" when you are assembling puzzles. The Alpha state is similar to the state we are in when we are dreaming.
- This shift in consciousness comes with many benefits, including:
- Ability to make deeper connections
- Improve our mood