Parenthood is an all-encompassing word that is like an umbrella, covering many roles. When you make a list of the tasks and roles of being a parent it can have you worn out just looking at what is expected of you. At the very least, you will be tired and maybe a little bit confused when the day is over and you have tried successfully to accomplish that list. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stimulate your mind and stave off that zombie feeling at the end of the day. One very helpful thing that you can do alone or with the rest of your family is to play with a puzzle.
Working on a puzzle can help improve your mood, lower your stress levels, increase your IQ, delay Alzheimer’s and dementia, and improve your memory. A great place to look for a variety of fun and challenging items is at Stave Puzzles for sale.
When you work on a puzzle, your brain gets an increase in the production of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Feelings of optimism and mood are regulated by dopamine. It also has an affect on motivation, concentration, and memory. Your success at solving a puzzle (or even getting the right piece in place,) causes a release of dopamine which is an encouragement to keep working or to do more puzzles.
Lowering Stress Levels
Working on puzzles at the end of the day would be a great way for everyone in the family to relax and lower stress levels. Your brain is usually in a wakeful state called “Beta.” When you work on a puzzle, it goes into a state similar to the one when you are dreaming, called “Alpha.” The benefits of this shift in consciousness include: an increase in self confidence, mood boost, mindset improvement, stress relief, and the ability to connect on a deeper level.
General reasoning, memory, and vocabulary are all improved when you work on a puzzle. A study was done at the University of Michigan that showed an increase of four IQ points in adults that spent 25 minutes a day playing with puzzles.
Push Pause on Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Problem solving activities and puzzles help keep your mind active. There are studies that show the possibility of these tools to help Alzheimer’s patients reduce the amount of damage to brain cells. Puzzle activities can support growth between new nerve cells and their connections. Scientists have also been able to show a connection between the number of years a person has been working on puzzles and their likelihood to develop Alzheimer’s or a similar condition. It is never too early (or too late,) to start protecting and improving your brain.
A good way to improve your short term memory is to work on jigsaw puzzles. Your short term memory helps you look at the big picture to figure out how certain pieces fit together and remembering color and shapes. Your thought processes and mental speed is improved when you work on puzzles.
There are many other ways that playing with puzzles can help your mind. If you examine these categories, however, you can see how puzzles can also help you with parenting. If all puzzles did was improve your mood and lower your stress levels, then it would be worth it to play with them. You might want to add puzzle time to your family routine in the evening before bedtime for the benefits, and the strengthening of your family connections.