Why do we like puzzles

Puzzles have stood the test of time and while everything else has gone electronic, there is just something about relaxing and spending time creating something beautiful. Puzzles allow us to create on our own timetable, in the comfort of our own homes, and then brag about it to our friends and family that come over.

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So why do we like puzzles? 

Because they are interesting and intricate, much like a nice photo.  But unlike our personal pictures, puzzles have a little more pizazz because they are pictures of places, people, subjects or things we may never see in person.  They are colorful, bright and happy.

Puzzles are just plain fun to pass the time away.

Puzzles require challenge, thought, and patience to truly test ourselves which is good for the brain.  They keep us young and alert.  Puzzles engage brain regions such as planning, memory and problem-solving which are all tied to addictive behavior. But puzzles also tap into our reward centers and who doesn’t like a good reward.

Puzzles activate our curiosity. An emotion that is closely related to happiness and satisfaction in life. The more curious we are about something, the more we like it and want to keep learning.

Puzzles trigger dopamine, which if you have ADHD you understand this perfectly.  Puzzles just help us feel good about ourselves and give us something to accomplish and feel proud about. 

Beyond the pleasurable “Why”, there are also plenty of health benefits generated because of the process of doing a puzzle.

Benefits of solving puzzles

They help improve memory

Puzzles help improve memory recall by connecting different brain parts that might not typically work together. Puzzles help keep blood flow circulating through different parts of the brain. Studies suggest that puzzles can improve memory by up to 20%. Puzzles help stimulate new connections between neurons which keeps our brains active and more prepared to remember.

Puzzles help us use both sides of our brains

Puzzles require both sides of our brain. The right brain processes information visually, while the left-brain processes information verbally. This is especially helpful for people who have suffered strokes or have dementia because it can help them manage or slow lost connections.

They keep our minds sharp as we age

Puzzles engage our minds in many ways at a single time like logic, spatial recognition, and logic.

Puzzles help reduce stress

Puzzles help us relax and destress when we become tense or overwhelmed with life. This can help us loosen our muscles, clear our minds and think about other things.

Puzzles help improve problem-solving skills

Puzzles are a great way to develop problem-solving skills, which is why they're so popular in school classrooms. Puzzles make you think outside the box and help you practice your analytical thinking, critical thinking, logic and reasoning.

It makes you feel good about yourself

Solving a puzzle gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from beating the odds and completing something difficult.  And when we feel good about ourselves, this positively affects our self-esteem, confidence levels, and overall moods throughout the day.

Other advantages of solving puzzles include the following:

Solving puzzles helps children develop their imagination and creativity. This is because they need to think about how different things work together or how they look when combined unusually. So, it helps them learn about new things in our world or create something new using old objects like toys, clothes, or even food.

Puzzles can also improve our ability to concentrate and focus on the task. Solving a puzzle requires us to pay attention, evaluate information and organize it into a logical pattern that leads us toward the solution. These are important skills for success in school and work, where multitasking is necessary but often leads to mistakes due to distraction.

Puzzles can also improve social skills as they require cooperation between two or more players who must work together toward a common goal: completing the puzzle! Puzzles are often cooperative games that involve communication between players who must collaborate to solve them correctly.

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