The Mental Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles

Sometimes being indoors during the winter months can be a little isolating. Though watching movies and tv shows can be enjoyable, after a while, it can also become a little monotonous, leaving us physically tired and mentally sluggish.

Other than the obvious beneficial activities that benefit your life,  like exercise and eating a healthy balanced diet, what else is one to do? Sure it’s good to develop other hobbies and interests, but sometimes, on a cold and snowy day, we don’t always feel up to it. Therefore finding something to do to free ourselves from stress, boredom, and fatigue can be a little bit puzzling. But there are solutions.

So let’s focus on one: Puzzles

Studies have found that working on a jigsaw puzzle can help reduce stress and improve memory. In fact, researchers discovered that the process of putting a puzzle together, even just placing a few pieces together successfully, can encourage the production of dopamine. This increase in dopamine can improve learning, memory, and mood. Even better, several large-scale studies, such as the MacArthur Study, have found that people who play with jigsaw puzzles have a better quality of life and a longer life expectancy. You can read more about the findings of this study here:!po=8.92857

Puzzles are also a great activity to do with family and friends. It’s easy to bond with others while working on a puzzle, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching a common goal- completing the puzzle, feels good for everyone involved. 

Working on a jigsaw puzzle can also be a powerful form of meditation. By focusing our attention on a single puzzle piece for a few minutes at a time, our minds are able to enter into a state of meditation. This form of meditating releases everyday stress, and leads to a state of calm that can help lower your heart rate and your blood pressure. 

So next time you find yourself tired of watching tv, reading a book, or scrolling through social media- Try working on a puzzle. The sense of accomplishment will be wonderful, as will the final image. In fact, if you choose an image that you enjoy, you can even glue the puzzle together and frame it. 

For more information on puzzles, including how to glue one together, check out the following website:

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