This Thursday, January 29th, is National Puzzle Day. But why should we limit our enjoyment of puzzles to just one day? Working a puzzle can have many benefits to your brain health, and not only while you are in the puzzle solving process.
Puzzles can provide inexpensive entertainment, especially in this day and age when so many forms of entertainment cost a lot of money. Some stores carry jigsaw puzzles for five dollars or less, or you could share and swap puzzles with your friends once you are done with them to keep up the variety. Word puzzles are also inexpensive, with crossword and word search books available for only a few dollars. Some magazines and newspapers also print puzzles for their readers to enjoy.
Doing puzzles works both sides of your brain simultaneously, engaging logic and creativity to keep your brain sharp. They improve your focus and concentration, which in turn will help you as you work on your book or other writing projects. You will learn to be more patient, since puzzles, like life, sometimes take a while to get all of the pieces to fit and have it all come together. And puzzles can also help your subconscious mind come up with solutions to other problems that have been bothering you, since a part of your brain will be relaxed as it focuses on the task at hand instead.
So next time you are frustrated or experiencing writers’ block, put your work aside for a little while and sit down with a puzzle. Choose any kind you like, whether jigsaw, crossword, or word search. Let the stress float away as you work that puzzle. Soon you may find solutions to your other problems, without even realizing that you are. Give your brain a different kind of break!
Posted by Marie Cauley
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