Puzzle solving isn’t that common nowadays. The advent of smartphones has changed the gaming landscape significantly. It is uncommon to see kids resorting to cardboard games and other creative outdoor activities. Video games have redefined games for our kids.
However, it has not taken away the place of good wooden puzzles, especially among adults. They have only shifted from newspaper cuts and pencils to online puzzles for the pastime. Besides being a leisure activity, it has several benefits for the brain and memory.
Below are 7 benefits you are missing if you do not play with puzzles.
1. Improved Memory
Puzzles improve short-term memory by reinforcing the connections between the cells in your brain. They also increase the creation of new relationships between the cells. As a result, the thought process increases with the increase in mental speed.
Having a good short-term memory helps in remembering facts, situations, and solutions. If you are looking for ways on how to train your memory to these, then you should include jigsaw, cube puzzle, and other puzzle games in your program.
2. Increased Visual-Spatial Reasoning Ability
As a person grows, the need for excellent visual-spatial awareness increases. It is essential in daily activities such as driving, especially parking, changing lanes, and reading maps.
Certain occupations such as architecture, engineering, chemistry, surgery, and artistry also require perfect visual-spatial ability. Jigsaw puzzles and 3D wooden puzzles are excellent ways on how to train your brain in the perception of spaces.
3. Improving Problem-Solving Skills
Problem-solving is an invaluable life skill, especially at the workplace. Besides, the interpersonal relationship depends significantly on your ability to consider problems critically and solve them amicably.
You can acquire certain problem-solving skills from self-help books and seminars and then use puzzles to nurture and perfect the skill. Puzzles open the mind to accept different perspectives. It helps you develop the ability to hold differing ideas at the same time with equal consideration to each.
Puzzle games also teach you to focus on what works rather than what looks nice, sounds great, or is easy. Some wood games, for example, teach you to learn the ripple effect of certain choices.
4. Improved IQ
The obvious benefits of puzzles such as improving your vocabulary, overall reasoning, and memory, provide a significant boost to your intelligent quotient, IQ. You might not get a medal for the most intelligent person in the workplace, but there are still several benefits of being one.
Studies of the impact of puzzles on intelligence indicate that the IQ of a person increased by four points whenever a person spent only 25 minutes per day solving puzzles for a month. The effect is more significant in school-going children.
5. Postpone Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Keeping the brain active through puzzles and other activities that involve solving a problem is beneficial for delaying the development of memory-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Having an active mind increases the growth of new nerve cells and improves the connection between them. It also reduces the rate of brain cell damage in persons with Alzheimer’s.
Research has also found a correlation between the years one has taken playing puzzles and the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s. The more the number of years, the lower the risk. If you are not a fan of these games, then it is never too late to make it a favourite pastime.
6. Helps You Relax
While they challenge you into thinking and sometimes think hard, puzzles do have a relaxing effect. It is why most adults love to sit down with a pencil and magazine puzzle after a busy day.
Solving puzzles switches your brain from the wakeful or Beta state to the Alpha state. The benefits of this change in consciousness include; better moods, increased self-confidence, reduced stress and heightened attention to detail.
7. Increased Productivity
Increased attention to details, better moods, and high self-esteem are key ingredients in improved productivity. In case you have concentration issues, then puzzles will be helpful. Some workplaces have even added puzzle boards in their breakaway rooms.