Seven surprising benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles - Carolina Country

Seven Surprising Benefits of Doing Jigsaw Puzzles

Retro fun and good for you too

By Brandpoint

Seven Surprising Benefits of Doing Jigsaw Puzzles

There’s a quiet movement going on, and it doesn’t involve apps or data. Following the lead of vinyl record albums and coloring books, jigsaw puzzles are seeing a resurgence in popularity. Puzzles are an opportunity to unplug and give yourself and family an escape from the information overload buzzing through our lives, 24/7.

A jigsaw puzzle requires your full attention, and therein lies the calming magic. Everyone from tweens and teens to millennials and overworked parents to seniors are returning to this childhood pastime.

There is a wide range of jigsaw puzzles on the market to choose from. Longtime companies that design and sell them include Ravensburger. Spending time with jigsaw puzzles …

1Exercises both sides of your brain
Your left brain is logical and works in a linear fashion, while your right brain is creative and intuitive. When you’re doing a jigsaw puzzle, both sides are engaged, according to Sanesco Health, an Asheville-based industry leader in neurotransmitter testing. It’s a workout that improves your problem-solving skills and attention span. It’s no surprise that Bill Gates admits to being an avid puzzler.

2Boosts short-term memory
Can’t remember what you had for lunch yesterday? Doing a puzzle reinforces connections between brain cells, improves mental speed and is an especially effective way to improve short-term memory.

3Sharpens visual-spatial reasoning
When you do a jigsaw puzzle, you need to look at individual pieces and figure out where they’ll fit into the big picture. If you do it regularly, you’ll improve visual-spatial reasoning, which helps with driving a car, packing, using a map and learning and following dance moves, among other things.

4Is a meditation tool
Focusing on one image for a long period of time, without extraneous thoughts entering your mind, is in itself meditation. The stress of everyday life evaporates and is replaced by a sense of peace and tranquility that lowers your blood pressure and heart rate.

5Strengthens family
Starting a jigsaw puzzle and keeping it on a table in the living room is an invitation for the whole family to participate. It’s also a tactic that parents of teens use for starting a conversation while working toward a shared goal.

6Provides solo fun
Conversely, jigsaw puzzles are great for some alone time or a quiet break from the bustle of modern life.

7Helps you live longer, better
Studies have shown that people who do jigsaw and crossword puzzles have longer life spans, with less chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss or dementia.

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