Why doing jigsaw puzzles is good for you
Jigsaw puzzles are making a comeback, and in the words of British GQ “Piece and Quiet has started making puzzles cool again.” We’re flattered to receive such high praise, but there’s much more to those oddly-shaped pieces of joy than meets the eye. Today we cast some light on why jigsaw puzzles for adults are good for you, and cover just some of the benefits they provide.
1 Improving brain function and memory
The oh so satisfying act of successfully placing a puzzle piece does more than just get you one step closer to finishing your piece of art. It actually encourages the production of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that contributes to learning, brain health and memory.
A study by researchers at the University of Michigan, led by Dr. Susanne Jäggi, even found that spending just 25 minutes a day solving puzzles can raise your IQ by 4.
2 Time away from screens, a digital detox
An article in the Independent looked at the average time an adult will spend looking at screens in their lifetime. Spoiler alert, it’s not good reading. They found that, on average, British adults were spending over 13 hours a day looking at screens. “Up to three and a half hours a day were spent looking at TV screens, with at least four hours staring at laptops, and two hours on mobile phones.” That equates to over 200 days a year spent solely looking at screens. Yikes. It probably goes without saying, but we are huge advocates for anything which gets this number down and gives us the opportunity to take the time to be present in the moment, and what better way than an artistic jigsaw puzzle for adults.
At Piece and Quiet, our mission is to make mindfulness accessible, one artistic jigsaw puzzle at a time. You don’t have to go to a yoga retreat or gain a qualification in meditation to take time for yourself, and we want to make sure you give yourself that time each and every day. Because you deserve it.
3 Increased cognitive ability
Jigsaw puzzles are proven to exercise the mind, boosting cognition and visual-spatial reasoning, but they have also been shown to increase creativity and productivity. There’s a reason the mantra behind Piece and Quiet is ‘mindful creativity’! The science behind why jigsaw puzzles are so effective at kicking your brain into gear is that they engage both the left, analytical side, and the right, creative side of the brain. Both types of thinking are needed to successfully piece together the jigsaw puzzle.
4 Mindfulness, reducing stress and anxiety
Exercising both sides of the brain simultaneously has other benefits too. It allows the brain to move from a beta state into an “alpha” state, the same mental state experienced whilst dreaming and where our subconscious minds come into play.
“In our hyperconnected world, if you’re physically doing a puzzle, you are, by definition, disconnected and engaged in a task that’s immersive, away from the interruptions and stresses of day-to-day life.” - Dr. Susan Vandermorris, clinical neuropsychologist at Toronto’s Baycrest Health Sciences, a global leader in brain health and ageing research.