If you’re stressed, anxious, or just need a break that doesn’t involve social media, look no further than your dining room table and a jigsaw puzzle. Spending your free time on social media could be stressful and unhealthy. That’s why an activity that doesn’t involve electronic devices (such as puzzling) will help you reduce stress and relax. Here are 7 great mental health benefits you get out of working on a puzzle.
Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzle #1: Decreases Stress & Anxiety
Puzzles and other crafts have been a way to disconnect yourself from the world and find inner peace and clarity. Immersing yourself in such activity can be a great exercise in mindfulness and it greatly helps to relieve stress. When your attention is on the puzzle pieces rather than your everyday problem, you will enter a focus state which helps you calm down and eases up your worries.
Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzle #2: Connects family & Friends
Doing puzzles can be a great relaxing way to bond with family and friends. I’ve seen people solve it in small groups and in pairs! They shared the challenge and accomplishment of completing it. In my family, there would be a large puzzle construction site set on the kitchen counter and whoever had some free time would approach it. Even those of us who were busy would put at least one piece on and be on our way to work. We would be so excited when a puzzle is complete that we would frame it to hang it around our home walls. Tell me about awesome teamwork!
Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzle #3: Improves Reasoning & Memory
Working on puzzles is an easy brain workout that can enhance your short-term memory. It requires exercising both the right and left sides of your brain simultaneously. The left brain (logic side) performs the search for logical connections between the pieces of the puzzle. Whereas the right brain (creative side), works on intuitively creating a bigger whole, thus helping you visualize how the puzzle will look like as you add more pieces.
Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzle #4: Provides a Sense of Achievement & Accomplishment
There is nothing better than the satisfactory feeling of achievement and accomplishment. Completing a puzzle is a challenge that requires patience and hard work. When your hard work pays off, you will feel a great sense of completeness. Placing the last piece on your puzzle will provide you with a great feeling of joy!
Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzle #5: Leads to Happiness
From choosing which puzzle box to get in the store to solving it in your cozy apartment on a winter day, every step is pleasant. Working on puzzles not only increases optimism but may also ease the release of dopamine, the happy hormone. It positively affects learning, memory, concentration, and motivation. Think about how happy you will feel every time placing a puzzle piece in the right place. This encourages you to continue to do so and will eventually lead to satisfaction and happiness.
Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzle #6: Cures Boredom
If you’re bored, you can keep yourself entertained by building a puzzle. It’s an excellent way to keep yourself occupied and away from overthinking. So if you’re looking for a healthy distraction, look no further than puzzles.
Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzle #7: Improves Attention to Detail
While working on a puzzle, you must pay attention to the visual cues that can help you find the pieces that fit. As you try to figure out which piece goes where you start focusing on these tiny little details. Thus, you become more detail-oriented and you sharpen your awareness of more information. Imagine working on the “Tree” puzzle in which a lot of pieces are quite similar, you’ll ultimately have to be aware of little details that will help you find its correct place.
Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzle #8: Breaks Away From Digital Life
People of all ages love doing puzzles, it has no age! Puzzles promote mental stimulation and are a great way to relax. The best part? it doesn’t involve any digital device. It’s the perfect meditative break from our fast-paced digital lives. So next time you feel like having a “real” break, just make yourself a cup of tea (or a fresh cup of orange juice), put on some relaxing music, and work on that puzzle.
Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzle #9: Improves Organization & Planning
Open the box, dump the pieces, and start puzzling… This is not a very good approach to satisfy your craving for organization. Time spent planning, and preparing will make a world of difference in how you solve puzzles. It will not only improve your organization and planning skills but also makes the building process more mentally satisfying. This means less frustration and more relaxation while you’re trying to complete your puzzle.
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