Are you looking for a way to boost your brainpower, relax, and have fun all at the same time?
Solving puzzles on a regular basis can bring you brain gains, positively impacting your cognitive abilities and mental health.
Puzzles enhance your short-term memory. For instance, when solving jigsaw puzzles, you activate existing and new connections within your brain that increase your mental speed and thought process. This helps you:
Recall colors, shapes, and other details of the puzzle pieces
Visualize how to fit the pieces within the puzzle as you build it, which improves your spatial reasoning
Recall and visualization strengthen your abilities in tasks like driving a car, reading a map, and organizing information.
Puzzles enhance your problem-solving skills. The Rubik’s Cube is one type of puzzle that strengthens your ability to:
Work by trial and error as you twist the cube to show one colour per side
Think of more creative and effective approaches to solve the Rubik’s Cube
Working by trial and error helps you think more creatively and effectively, building resilience and persistence to better handle situations as you encounter them.
Brain Buster #1
Ramona wants to buy Ali a puzzle set for his birthday. She knows that he loves activities that improve his visual and spatial skills.
What puzzle should Ramona buy for Ali?
None of these
Puzzles like crosswords enhance the breadth and depth of your vocabulary. This will help you:
Process and understand information faster
Expand your abstract thinking and reasoning of your own and others’ thoughts and ideas
Communicate more clearly with others
Happier Mind And Mood
Solving puzzles like Sudoku helps your brain increase dopamine, a chemical responsible for enhancing your mood and feelings of happiness and optimism. As you inch closer to solving a puzzle, you'll get a dopamine kick.
Your brain also goes into a "beta" or meditative state as you solve a puzzle. This promotes relaxation, which helps you:
Pep In Productivity And Collaboration
Solving puzzles enhances your productivity and collaboration at school and in the workplace.
If you're losing focus on a school or work task, take a short break by doing a puzzle. It'll refocus your brain to concentrate on your learning and work.
Also, incorporating group puzzle games like Scrabble into the workplace helps you:
Build relationships with coworkers
Improve teamwork on group projects
Brain Buster #2
Cheryl is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. She's trying to find an authentic and creative way for her students to improve and extend their vocabulary knowledge and comprehension.
What activity could she incorporate into her lessons?
Keeping your brain active with puzzles will greatly impact your well-being.
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This Byte has been authored by
Learning Consultant & Playtest Researcher