You may wonder, what are some ways that you can challenge and one of the most important muscles in your body? Not your arms or your legs… I’m talking about your brain! Your brain and your brain’s health are important to take care of because of things like memory, retention, and problem-solving skills! Some argue exercise is the most important for brain health, for reasons like aerobic exercise- because it gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing to your brain. While others argue enrolling in a class that you are unfamiliar with or partaking in a skill that is unknown to you, like chess or coding. Both of these options support brain health and are good ways to challenge your brain, but one of the best and most optimal activities for brain health are PUZZLES!
Yes, you read the last word in the previous paragraph correctly. Puzzles, crosswords, word searches, and other trivia like games allows for your brain to develop and enhance more refined problem solving and other cognitive functions. Not only does in enhance problem solving skills, but it aids in expanding vocabulary and language skills. When you work on a jigsaw puzzle, you are using both the right and left sides of your brain to complete it. Pretty much, puzzles are a workout for your brain! Moreover, participating in puzzle-like interests has social benefits too! These social benefits are important because they improve our social interactions with others. Working with people your age, children, or working in silence with someone else allows for the brain to continue to be challenged, becoming stronger and focused.
Overall, engagement in brain games aids in the strengthening and enhancement of developmental, social, and cognitive ability. Start challenging yourself for about 10 minutes a day with a word search! Look towards your local newspaper or a simple Google search can help with finding a brain game just for you! Here are some websites to help you get started,
Bezems, V. 7 Surprising Benefits of Doing Jigsaw Puzzles for All Ages. http://www.southmountainmemorycare.com/blog/30-7-surprising-benefits-of-doing-jigsaw-puzzles-for-all-ages-2.
NATIONAL PUZZLE DAY – January 29. National Day Calendar. (2021, January 26). https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-puzzle-day-january-29/.
Want to talk to someone who can help? If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about this and are in the Chicagoland area, please feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.
Written by: Abrea, 2021 Undergraduate Intern