And the research says…….
I am a huge fan of mental wellness and have done jigsaw puzzles throughout my life. During my own life span, I too have needed to find ways to destress, unwind and relax.
And there was not always endless hours or space to do jigsaw puzzles so I had to find other ways. During my research I have discovered the following information on how our brain works and how it applies to working jigsaw puzzles…..it’s interesting….ok, so check this out……
Our mind has two separate hemispheres or lobes called right and left-brain which you have probably already heard of this. Each side does different functions.
The Right side brain deals with emotions and performs tasks like mental and social factors. The Left side brain functions in language and movements.
Using both the sides of the brain is like the ‘non-food flexing’ brain exercise and jigsaw puzzling helps you to exercise BOTH the sides of your brain.
Here’s briefly how it works (I’ve been ‘schooled’ on this).
The left brain does the thinking, likes to make the lists and be organized.
The right brain takes care of the creativity and emotions.
Now look at the jigsaw puzzle - the left brain likes to organize the loose pieces into their respective positions and the right brain sees the creativity of the puzzle image unfold right in front of our eyes, caressing our emotions with enthusiasm and a sense of achievement and accomplishment.
You will not notice your left and right brain cells actively working together at the same time but the continuous activity of thoughts in the brain that involves ALL the cells of the brain actually increases the brain's capacity and efficiency (so the Experts say).
Research and studies are constantly being produced showing how doing jigsaw puzzles (for the brain) and maintaining a fully active lifestyle (for the body) may gain you a longer lifespan and reduce or delay future long term old age problems such as Alzheimer’s, memory loss and/or dementia.
Now this is important! Our brain produces dopamine which gives us the capacity to learn and maintain our memory level. That said, while solving a jigsaw puzzle the brain increases the production of dopamine - it’s like watering your own brain seeds….the jigsaw puzzle being the ‘water’ and the brain cells being the ‘seeds’.
And there’s more benefits! First, talk about increasing our concentration or keeping us alert! BUT - don’t forget the visualization.
Doing the constant focus of the next piece to create the bigger picture provides us with a high level of mental activity which in turn rewards us in the form of physical health by lowering our breathing, reducing our heart rate and decreasing our blood pressure - which is kind of a form of meditation in itself.
You can reap these benefits by doing jigsaw puzzles on a daily basis even if it is for only a half hour. It will give your brain a well deserved break from the chaos spinning in your mind/life. It will help increase and/or maintain your memory levels, it will improve how your brain functions and will assist in decreasing your daily stress levels.
Like meditation, it takes some time to recognize the changes in how you feel by doing jigsaw puzzles but in my opinion, not as long as meditation does. That’s why I like ‘quick-fix’ jigsaw puzzles.
And lastly, here’s my tip to you……DO BOTH!……a daily solid half hour of meditation and another daily solid half hour of jigsaw puzzling is THE best NATURAL solution that has proved to provide THE most positive results for me…….
*******(noting the Disclaimer here - I am not a Doctor…..this is based on information gathering….. only YOU can prove it to work for yourself).
ps….the jigsaw puzzling usually does not end in a half hour.....just sayin'......
So assembling jigsaw puzzles is doing wonders for our mental health and wellness. I am a firm believer in the mind-body connection and I believe the information I have discovered in my research to be extremely helpful to me......I hope you consider it for yourself and pay it forward to others.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - With her self-published book and over 300 jigsaw puzzle reviews, Linda has established herself as a prominent social media marketing influencer and jigsaw puzzle-preneur. If you want to send Linda a quick message, visit her contact page here.
We have collected a massive list of jigsaw puzzles in numerous categories on our Amazon Store link. It's a quick way to browse most current puzzles and/or specific seasons, accessories and themes. Makes for a terrific one-stop jigsaw puzzle gift giving shopping centre. CLICK HERE
EuroGraphics Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh Color Me Puzzle (300 Pieces)
About: Enhanced Puzzle Enjoyment: The Benefits of EZ Grasp and Extra Large Piece Jigsaw Puzzles for Seniors and Children
Jigsaw puzzles are not only a fun and entertaining pastime but also offer numerous cognitive and therapeutic benefits. For seniors and children facing specific challenges such as arthritis, dementia, or sore hands, EZ grasp and extra large piece jigsaw puzzles provide a solution that enhances their puzzle experience. In this article, we explore the advantages of using these specialized puzzles and highlight some notable brands that offer them.
Improved Dexterity and Hand-Eye Coordination
Seniors and children often encounter difficulties with fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. EZ grasp puzzles feature larger, easier-to-handle pieces that enable individuals with arthritis or sore hands to engage more comfortably. These puzzles reduce strain and allow users to maintain a better grip, promoting improved dexterity and coordination.
Enhanced Focus and Cognitive Skills
Jigsaw puzzles are excellent tools for cognitive stimulation. They require concentration, problem-solving, and spatial reasoning. For individuals with dementia, puzzles can provide a sense of accomplishment, boost memory recall, and help maintain cognitive function. The larger pieces in EZ grasp and extra large puzzles make it easier for seniors and children to see and distinguish the details, enhancing their focus and cognitive engagement.
Reduced Frustration and Increased Confidence
Traditional puzzles with small pieces can be challenging for seniors and children, leading to frustration and discouragement. EZ grasp and extra large piece puzzles alleviate these frustrations by offering larger, more manageable pieces. This allows individuals to participate in the puzzle-solving process with greater ease, leading to increased confidence and a sense of achievement.
Notable Brands Offering EZ Grasp and Extra Large Piece Puzzles
Several puzzle companies recognize the importance of catering to the needs of seniors and children with specialized puzzles. Cobble Hill, Springbok, Ravensburger, and White Mountain are notable brands that offer EZ grasp and extra large piece puzzles.
Cobble Hill is known for it's quality, colorful and variety of images for those with sensitive or small hands. No matter the season, there's a product available to share the family fun.
Springbok offers a variety of puzzles designed specifically for seniors and children. Their EZ grasp puzzles feature large, easy-to-handle pieces and vibrant, captivating images that cater to various interests and skill levels.
Ravensburger, a renowned puzzle brand, also offers a range of extra large piece puzzles. Their high-quality puzzles are designed to provide an enjoyable experience for seniors and children, with larger pieces that are easy to grip and assemble.
White Mountain offers nostalgic and visually appealing puzzles with extra large pieces. Their puzzles are known for their high-quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and beautiful artwork, making them a favorite among puzzle enthusiasts of all ages.
EZ grasp and extra large piece jigsaw puzzles offer numerous benefits for seniors and children facing challenges such as arthritis, dementia, or sore hands. These specialized puzzles enhance dexterity, hand-eye coordination, focus, and cognitive skills. By reducing frustration and increasing confidence, they provide an enjoyable and rewarding puzzle experience.
Notable puzzle brands like Cobble Hill, Springbok, Ravensburger, and White Mountain recognize the unique needs of seniors and children, offering a wide range of puzzles designed to cater to their requirements.
Whether it's for therapeutic purposes or simply for fun, EZ grasp and extra large piece puzzles open up a world of possibilities, enabling seniors and children to engage in the joys of puzzling while overcoming physical and cognitive limitations.
(ChatGPT, personal communication, June 20, 2023)