The Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles

Why puzzles are so good for your brain, mental health, mindfulness and more!

Jigsaw puzzles have surged in popularity in recent years. This has come to a head in 2020 and 2021, with the global coronavirus pandemic forcing millions of people around the world into lockdown and isolation. People have been in desperate need of activities to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated while staying at home.

Jigsaw puzzles tick all those boxes and have proven to be an ideal activity to undertake during lockdown, quarantine or isolation. Conversely, when it is safe and appropriate to do so, puzzles are also incredibly fun activities to do with friends and family.

Here are some of the benefits of jigsaw puzzles, and why they're so good for us!

1. Puzzles stimulate and exercise your brain (both sides simultaneously!)

Solving a jigsaw puzzle engages both sides of your brain: the logical and analytical left brain, and the creative and intuitive right brain. Jigsaw puzzles are mental workouts, helping you to exercise and train your brain in problem-solving, visual-spatial reasoning, and creative engagement.

2. Research suggests that cognitive stimulation from puzzles can help combat Alzheimer's disease

A study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, which was published in the Jan 2012 issue of Archives of Neurology, which compared the PET-brain scans of elderly people (with an average age of 75) with and without Alzheimer's disease, and of young people (with an average age of 25), found that the elderly people who regularly engaged in mind-stimulating activities such as jigsaw puzzles, had brain scans that were comparable to the younger participants who were 50 years their junior.

They also discovered that the elderly people who regularly did puzzles and other mind-stimulating activities (throughout their lifetime), had the smallest presence of beta-amyloid protein - a major component of the brain plaques that characterises Alzheimer's disease - in their brains.

3. Feeling stressed? Puzzles are a great stress reliever and can be a calming and meditative activity

The act of completing a jigsaw puzzle can be a very calming, relaxing and meditative experience. According to Dr. Michelle McCoy Barrett, a clinical psychologist: "Puzzles are more than just a way to pass the time. Particularly during periods of high stress, becoming immersed in a puzzle can be like practicing a mindful meditation - relaxing your mind and body, decreasing stress, and even slowing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure."

Puzzles are also the perfect solo activity to take you out of the stress and chaos of your daily life for a quiet break and alone time.

Disclaimer: The research information on this page is of a general nature. This is not medical advice. For medical advice you should always consult a doctor or medical professional.

 

Sounds pretty good right?

Getting through Lockdown together

To our friends in Melbourne who are experiencing yet another lockdown: We send you all our thoughts and best wishes that you stay safe and well during this difficult time.

Our 1000 piece "Lockdown" puzzle is a great activity to do in self isolation or locked-down with friends or family, to keep your spirits high, your brain focused and stimulated, and your mind relaxed and de-stressed. We hope the humorous artwork can bring a smile to your face as you recognise some of the ways you and others have kept yourselves occupied during lockdown!

If you're wondering what to do and looking for ways to fight off boredom - the "Lockdown" puzzle is the perfection solution, delivering many hours of entertainment.