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10 Great Ways Puzzles Can Keep Your Brain Sharp

In an effort to escape the clutches of modern technology and take a break from the glare of a screen, turning to the classic puzzle book and giving your brain a workout could offer you much more than just a simple pastime.

If you are someone who relishes the challenge of a good puzzle, a crossword, sudoku, a word search, or a cross sum, you may be helping your mental dexterity out more than you realize!

Exercising your mind can be incredibly important, as it might help you stay sharp well into your golden years. Plus, it does not have to be a chore by any stretch of the imagination.

10 Great Ways Puzzles Can Keep Your Brain Sharp

Here are just 10 of the many great ways in which tackling a puzzle every now and then can potentially support your mental wellbeing for years to come.

1. Perfecting Problem-Solving

Some people might appear to be natural problem solvers, but in reality, learning to take an analytic approach and employ reliable logic to answer a question requires a lot of training.

This can be especially important for children who need to develop their rational thinking skills, and thankfully, there are puzzles of all shapes and sizes, so no matter how old you happen to be, there will likely be an entry point for you.

From math and English to variety puzzles, there is no shortage of worthy avenues to explore in the realm of brain training. If you happen to be looking for some new puzzle books to try out but do not know where to look, you may want to find out more here.

2. Mastering Memory

If you ever watch quiz shows and find yourself baffled at the recall ability of the contestants, it is worth knowing that this ability can be learned and nurtured.

According to NBC News, testing yourself is a good way to start mastering the power of memory, and what better way to test yourself than by turning your attention to a difficult puzzle?

Crosswords can be a good example of this, as they can help you learn as you play. Actively taking in the information (rather than simply filling in a square on a page) can ensure that you take in some fresh facts.

3. Fine-Tuning Focus

Focusing can be difficult, particularly if your attention span has been ruined by the internet. The ability to properly focus, however, is an exceptionally valuable life skill that can benefit you professionally and personally.

Being able to fix your attention on a single subject, thought, act or task often requires self-discipline and motivation in today’s digital, disposable age, but once again, this skill can be fine-tuned.

Taking on a puzzle from start to finish may be able to train you in this area, particularly if you give yourself a timeframe to finish it in.

4. Livening Language

Language is unfathomably beautiful, yet it can be a cage for those who lack the words to express themselves.

Learning to liven up your language and explore the landscape of lexicography can open up your perspective in many ways.

Word puzzles are great for this, as they often habitually introduce unfamiliar synonyms and sentences into the mix.

A wider vocabulary can improve your writing and your ability to communicate in general, so you should not overlook the value of checking the thesaurus every now and then.

This can be a good way to learn, as the highly interactive format offered by the nature of a puzzle may support those who benefit from a range of different learning preferences.

For example, the puzzle format might be able to help those who resonate more with kinesthetic learning, yet at the same time, it is an incredibly visual medium, supporting both types of learners.

10 Great Ways Puzzles Can Keep Your Brain Sharp

5. Squashing Stress

Stress is no fun for anyone, and having to constantly deal with it may even cause lasting psychological and physical damage.

A mind that is forced to cope with the threat of stress can have a hard time staying sharp or concentrating on anything, for that matter.

Squashing stress before it has a chance to manifest into a loathsome issue is a must for anyone wishing to take better care of their general wellbeing.

By giving your mind a puzzle to focus on, solve, and overcome, you are thoroughly engaging your mind on matters away from stress-inducing thoughts.

According to this article in the New York Times, crosswords can help curb anxiety too. Learning how to take your mind off, or rather, put measures in place to actively fend off stress and anxiety, can be a huge turning point in many peoples’ lives.

6. Connecting Companions

Friends are extremely important throughout life. They can provide intensely meaningful and unbreakable companionship at the best of times.

Moreover, the social interactions that they can instigate could even keep your mind sharp in your later years.

Puzzles can be a wonderfully social pastime, especially when working hard to beat a crossword with friends and family.

Learning to bond as you and your companions take on puzzles might add some positive associations to the pastime in your mind, hopefully allowing you to get more enjoyment out of it in the future. 

7. Busting Boredom

Boredom can be brutal. If you have ever felt like the excruciating pressure of abject boredom creeping up on you, then you will likely know that combatting it can be difficult.

A perpetual state of boredom may lead to some damaging consequences if left unchecked, such as illness and dysfunctional behavior.

Keeping your mind sharp means freeing it from the surly bonds of boredom and searching for an outlet.

Consistently bored people are often hard to be around too. Those who lack the drive to seek external influences and fill out their perspective as a result of boredom may have a harder time conversing.

Striving to negate this factor can allow you to keep your mind sharp, an area that puzzles can greatly help you out in.

Even if it just provides a gateway to another activity, a puzzle can still get the thoughts flowing and the mind racing.

8. Promoting Productivity

Finding the time to be productive can be a challenge in the modern era, as anyone who works from home might know.

Finding the self-motivation required to be productive can seem impossible, but it is far from it.

It sometimes means reaching into the depths of your mind and telling yourself, ‘It starts with a single step.’

Think of how accomplished you feel when you manage to be productive for even a short span of time.

By recognizing the satisfaction that comes with staying productive, you can help your mind stay sharp and ready for the next battle.

Puzzles promote productivity in many ways, and they provide a go-between as you finally build yourself up to that big task you need to get to grips with.

10 Great Ways Puzzles Can Keep Your Brain Sharp

9. Processing Patterns

Your ability to pick up on patterns could help you with your math and your analytical thinking in general.

This skill can be nurtured through puzzles like sudoku, so this might be the best way forward if you needed to work on your number game.

10. Sailing Solo

While doing puzzles with friends and family can be fun, sometimes, a little solo action is for the best.

Settling down to take on a new crossword or sudoku can be the perfect way to steal a few quiet moments all to yourself.

Sometimes, this is a good way to get your thoughts in order and keep your mind ticking away to the best of its ability.

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