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Solve Puzzles

Solve Puzzles

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Puzzle-solving is a popular activity that has several benefits, mainly related to cognitive skills and entertainment. 

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Possible Benefits

  • May decrease anxiety 
  • May decrease stress
  • May boost your mood
  • May stimulate cognitive function 
  • May promote problem-solving skills
  • May improve sharpness 
  • May stimulate creativity
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Required Equipment


A timer (optional)

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How to Do It

This habit could not be simpler. All you have to do is to get some puzzles with images and themes that interest you - that's it!

You can find a wide variety of sizes, images, and shapes.

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Why it works

  • This habit promotes the activation of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that deals with planning, creativity, decision making and thinking. 
  • It stimulates the ability to identify the steps needed to reach the desired outcome. 
  • When you are fully immersed in the activity, the mind "let’s go" of intrusive thoughts and concerns.
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Time Commitment

20-60 minutes 

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Suggested Frequency

Once per week 

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Time of Day


At night it can help induce a state of relaxation

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Possible Side Effects

None known. 

Make sure you keep the small pieces out of the reach of children.

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  • Want a bigger challenge? Look for 3D puzzles!
  • To make it more fun, you can use a timer and set it as fast as possible. 
  • Do it with friends or family to increase the benefits. 
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. An online investigation of the relationship between the frequency of word puzzle use and cognitive function in a large sample of older adults. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30443984/ 
  2. Jigsaw Puzzles As Cognitive Enrichment (PACE) - the effect of solving jigsaw puzzles on global visuospatial cognition in adults 50 years of age and older: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5588550/ 
  3. Modal preferences in creative problem solving. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22806663/ 
  4. Puzzle-Solving Activity as an Indicator of Epistemic Confusion. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6365428/ 
  5. Effect of a puzzle on the process of students' learning about cardiac physiology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27516391/
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 Happiness  Stress  Productivity  Focus  Creativity  Memory  Sharpness
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