Puzzling for Perspective: Clear Your Mind with a Jigsaw Puzzle

photo of puzzle pieces

In today’s world of hustle and bustle, it’s hard to keep a clear head. But clarity can be key to success and well-being–and it may be just a closet away. If you’ve got jigsaw puzzles stacked up inside, pull them out. They’re not just for fun; they can be an effective tool for improving mental health and perspective. Here’s how:

Jigsaws increase concentration. Doing a jigsaw puzzle requires the mind to study images, pushing the brain to sharpen its focus skills. While it takes diligence and effort to look for tiny pieces that interlock, the payoff is big: increased concentration. Concentration not only strengthens the attention span, it eliminates distraction thoughts, promoting clarity.

Your memory improves. During puzzle solving, dopamine–the chemical in the brain that’s responsible for memory–is released. Jigsaw puzzles in particular help hone memory because they encourage the mind to stay actively working for a long period of time. Studies have shown that jigsaw puzzles can even stave off memory loss and dementia.

Puzzles bring peace. Doing something that occupies the mind in an engaging fashion, like a jigsaw puzzle, brings a sense of calm and serenity. External worries and stress vanish as the mind tunes in to something meditative and satisfying. Puzzles can rid the clutter from your life and refresh thoughts and mood, bringing peace, clarity, and contentment.

Creativity results. Figuring out how to piece a puzzle together may seem straight forward, but there is plenty of creativity involved as you sort through a maze of colors and shapes to find the perfect fit. The more challenging the puzzle, the more creativity generated–and the better for your health. Creativity heightens thinking, enhances self-esteem, and reduces stress.

Jigsaw puzzles inspire interaction. Working on a jigsaw puzzle can be a solo endeavor, but it’s also a great way to interact with others. Jigsaws give people an activity to do together, using their hands and minds to construct something. There’s no competition involved, just teamwork and socializing–both which stimulate the brain in positive ways.

Jigsaw puzzles are an entertaining way to exercise the mind and promote mental health and clarity. Give one a try, and have fun piecing together a better life perspective.