Jigsaw Puzzles and The Brain

There is a new movement happening across the country and it is not about a new mobile app, a new game for the Playstation or a new version of candy crush. It is as collectable as vinyl, as mesmerising as a board game and can be as absorbing as a book.  Since the lockdowns of the past year, it has become even more popular than ever it has ever before. It helps work your brain, relaxes you, helps with your decision making and when it is finished there is a feeling of overwhelming achievement. It is believed to of been around since the early 17th century and it is of course the jigsaw puzzle. So we take a look at how it works your brain and why it is good thing to do for your long term mental health.

A Jigsaw puzzle requires your full and absolute attention, and it is going through something of a mini revival. More and more people are returning to the simplicity and the peace and quiet of doing a jigsaw puzzle and that sense of satisfaction of putting that final piece into place.

How Jigsaws Exercise The Brain

You may or may not know that doing a jigsaw puzzle exercises the left and the right sides of your brain at the same time. Your left brain is the logical side and works in a linear fashion, while the right side of your brain is the more creative and intuitive side. When you undertake a jigsaw puzzle, both sides of your brain are engaged.  It is basically a mental workout that is seen to improve your problem-solving skills and your attention span. Famous ‘puzzlers’ include Patrick Stewart, The Queen, Bill Gates and even Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood!

Jigsaw And Your Short Term Memory

Jigsaw puzzles can improve your short-term memory. Doing a jigsaw puzzle reinforces connections between brain cells, improves your mental speed and is an extremely effective way of improving your short-term memory.

Jigsaw Puzzles Improve Your Visual-Spatial Reasoning.

Spatial reasoning is a reasoning skills that refers to your capacity to think about objects in three dimensions and to draw conclusions about those objects from limited information. So when you do a jigsaw puzzle, you need to really look at individual pieces and figure out where they all fit into the bigger picture. If you do a puzzle on a regular basis, it can improve your visual-spatial reasoning, which believe it or not can also help with driving a car, packing a suitcase, using a map, learning and following dance moves, and many other things.

Jigsaw Meditation

Jigsaw puzzles are yes you read our heading correctly a really good meditation tool and a stress reliever. Focusing on one image for a long period of time, without any other thought apart from that image in your mind, is a form of self-meditation. By doing a jigsaw puzzle, you are getting exactly the same benefits as if you meditating. It can help bring a sense of peace and quiet and can lower your blood pressure and your heart rate.

Jigsaws and Mental Health

According to the mental health charity Mind 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue each year and in England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem a week. Puzzles have been seen to focus attention away from everyday stresses and stop people from using their digital devices which have been seen to increase both stress and mental anxiety. By focusing your mind on a jigsaw can help you both relax and bring about a sense of calm and well being as well as previously stated occupy your mind and exercise your brain.