How Puzzles Can Build A Stronger Brain
Sometimes, there’s no better way to spend your free time than working on a puzzle. From jigsaw puzzles to the daily crossword to three-dimensional puzzles like the Rubik’s Cube, they all utilize brain power to help solve them. According to an article from goodnet.org, puzzles can help boost your cognitive function in more ways than one!
One benefit puzzles provide is that they help stimulate both hemispheres of the brain. The left side specializes in analytic thinking, while the right side is the more creative half. When working on puzzles, the left hemisphere is responsible for processing the information from the puzzle while the right hemisphere utilizes creative out-of-the-box thinking to solve them. This back-and-forth style of brain activity is crucial to improving your cognitive function and overall brain health.
Another benefit that puzzles provide is that they help improve your memory. This is because working on puzzles helps reinforce the connections between our brain cells and form new ones. Studies have shown this could even reduce brain cell damage that happens with Alzheimer’s. Doing puzzles for at least 25 minutes a day can even help your IQ go up by as much as four points according to a study from the University of Michigan.
Puzzles have also been proven to help improve problem-solving skills. This is because puzzles require the human mind to take different approaches through trial and error. This trial-and-error approach helps develop these skills that can carry over to everyday scenarios, such as math skills or learning the grammar of a new language. These skills can even carry over to your visual and spatial reasoning skills which in turn can make you a better driver and a more organized packer.
Your mind isn’t the only part of your body that benefits from puzzles, your mood, and well-being also improve as well. Working on puzzles helps increase the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, memory, and concentration, and is also why puzzles are satisfying to solve as it produces that dopamine rush to your brain once you solve it. When you’re concentrating on a puzzle, your mind also goes into a meditative state which in turn, reduces stress levels.
Not only can working on puzzles be a good pastime, but they’re also a rewarding one at that. Next time you’re at home feeling bored, instead of binging whatever’s on Netflix or other streaming services, try starting a puzzle instead. Your brain will thank you later.
Written by Daniel McRedmond