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The Mental Health Benefits Of Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles have been a hit for decades as a cheap and fun game for all ages. Modern-day studies reveal that puzzles are not just a great engagement tool but come with a host of medical benefits for all ages. Following are some of the mental health benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles.

Enhanced spatial intelligence

The entire act of putting smaller pieces together to reveal a larger image can improve your visual-spatial intelligence over time. Solving puzzles can help you improve certain life skills such as coordination, driving, packing, navigating a map, or even dancing.

Exercising the brain

Just like our muscles require regular exercise to stay healthy and active, so do our brains. The brain, as you may know, is divided into two hemispheres. The right side controls our creative and intuitive thinking, while the left manages logical reasoning.

The benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles are that it stimulates both sides of the brain. Thus, a jigsaw puzzle is considered a complete brain exercise. It further activates the optical lobe where colours and shapes get connected. Puzzles promote cognitive function by making both sides of the brain work together. Some corporate greats are also avid puzzle-solvers.

Develops memory

While solving a puzzle you need to remember several things like the shape of the pieces, the colours, and sizes. At the same time, your brain is also working hard to visualise where the pieces go in.

Matching the colours and shapes of different puzzle pieces strengthens the connection between the brain cells and helps improves mental speed. You can address short-term memory losses by doing jigsaw puzzles regularly.

Increased attention span

Solving a puzzle requires great attention to detail. More so in the case of many pieces, where typically the difference between each piece is not very obvious. You have to remember the minor details to put the right piece in the right place. This exercise improves your ability to identify small variances. Attention to minor details can make a significant difference in your professional field of work.

Increases your Intelligence quotient

Scientific research has suggested that 25 minutes of puzzle-solving a day can increase your IQ level by 4 points. It is such a potent mental exercise that it can augment your intelligence quotient.

You can become a better problem-solver

Like a chess game, one of the benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles increases your problem-solving abilities.

While solving a puzzle, you act as a researcher trying to figure out the right formula for the experiment. You take multiple approaches and change plans and strategies to reach the desired outcome.

All these mental maneuverings can develop your critical thinking abilities and make you adaptive to life’s challenges.

Better focus- increased productivity.

It is a widely accepted corporate phenomenon that happier employees are more productive. Hence, many organisations keep in their tea rooms puzzles and other brain-stimulating games to help employees unwind during breaks to reduce stress at work. Their concentration improves, and as a result, their productivity quotient also goes up significantly.

Teamwork and a collaborative mindset

Teamwork is essential for long-term organisational success. Studies have proven that introducing games like puzzles and other team-building exercises increases the productivity level significantly. The employees develop empathy toward one another. They also become more open to learning new skills from their colleagues.

Happier mood

Jigsaw puzzles are also known to activate the neurotransmitter dopamine, making us feel optimistic about our circumstances. The dopamine effect is the sudden hormonal surge that we experience after joining the puzzle pieces correctly. It can invariably uplift our moods and make us feel better.

Break from the digital monotony

Puzzles take us back to our childhood. It can initiate an avalanche of happy memories that eradicates stress. Furthermore, it takes our minds away from our lives’ digital clutter. Time away from mobile phones, laptops, and television sets can do wonders for mental health.

The ultimate stressbuster

One of the key benefits of jigsaw puzzles is that they can energise our brains into the Beta state, where the brain feels awake. It can also help us relax into the Alpha state, which induces a sleepy feeling.

You can find many puzzles for all age groups at Puzzles Australia. The experts have curated some brilliant puzzles considering the above health benefits.


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