Benefits of Doing Puzzles – Food For The Brain?

Benefits of Doing Puzzles - Food for the Brain?

As a puzzle enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the intricate workings of the brain during puzzle-solving. Not only is puzzle-solving a fun and engaging activity, but it also has a multitude of benefits for the brain. In this article, we will delve into the science behind puzzle-solving, the benefits of doing puzzles, how puzzles help your brain, and how to incorporate them into your daily routine.

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The Science of Puzzle-Solving

Puzzle-solving is the process of finding a solution to a problem, challenge, or game. It involves the brain’s ability to process information, analyze patterns, and come up with solutions. When we engage in puzzle-solving activities, our brain’s neurons fire up, creating new neural connections and strengthening existing ones.

During puzzle-solving, our brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in motivation, pleasure, and reward. Dopamine reinforces positive behaviors, which makes puzzle-solving a satisfying and rewarding activity.

Benefits of Puzzle Solving for the Brain

Benefits of Doing Puzzles

Do puzzles improve brain function: Yes, puzzle-solving has numerous benefits for the brain. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Enhancing Cognitive Abilities

Puzzle-solving is an excellent way to enhance cognitive abilities. It can improve memory, boost problem-solving skills, and enhance spatial reasoning and visual-spatial skills. When we engage in puzzle-solving, we challenge our brain to think critically and creatively, which can lead to better cognitive abilities.

Enhancing Focus and Concentration

Puzzle-solving requires focus and concentration, as you need to pay attention to details, patterns, and clues. Regularly engaging in puzzles can improve your ability to concentrate and stay focused on tasks in other areas of your life as well.

Enhancing Pattern Recognition and Logic

Puzzles often involve recognizing patterns, making logical deductions, and analyzing relationships between elements. Regular puzzle-solving can sharpen your pattern recognition skills, logical reasoning, and critical thinking abilities.

Strengthening Neural Connections

As mentioned earlier, puzzle-solving strengthens existing neural connections and creates new ones. This process, known as neuroplasticity, is crucial for maintaining brain health and preventing age-related cognitive decline.

Strengthening Fine Motor Skills

Certain types of puzzles, such as jigsaw puzzles or assembling 3D models, require precise hand-eye coordination and manipulation. Engaging in these activities can help improve fine motor skills, dexterity, and spatial awareness.

Delaying Age-Related Cognitive Decline

Engaging in puzzle-solving activities can help delay age-related cognitive decline. A study conducted by the University of Exeter found that adults who regularly engage in puzzle-solving activities have better cognitive function than those who don’t.

Boosting Creativity

Puzzle-solving encourages thinking outside the box and coming up with innovative solutions. It stimulates creative thinking and helps you develop alternative perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. This can have a positive impact on your creativity in other aspects of life too.

Improving Patience and Perseverance

Puzzles often require time, patience, and perseverance to complete. They teach us the value of persistence and not giving up easily when faced with challenges. By working through difficult puzzles, you can cultivate a sense of resilience and learn to approach problems with a determined mindset.

Promoting Social Interaction

Another benefit of doing puzzles is it can be a social activity that brings people together. Working on puzzles with friends, family, or in groups can foster teamwork, communication, and collaboration. It provides an opportunity for shared experiences, bonding, and creating lasting memories.

Reducing Stress and Improving Mood

Puzzle-solving can also help reduce stress and improve mood. When we engage in puzzle-solving, our brain releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Additionally, puzzle-solving can provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, which can lead to reduced stress levels.

Providing a Relaxing and Mindful Escape

Solving puzzles can offer a peaceful escape from everyday stressors. It can be a meditative and mindful activity that helps you unwind, relax, and focus on the present moment. Engaging in puzzles can be a form of self-care and mental rejuvenation.

Types of Puzzles and Their Specific Benefits

Benefits of Doing Puzzles

There are many types of puzzles, each with its own specific benefits. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are a classic puzzle-solving activity that can provide numerous benefits for the brain. They challenge our visual-spatial skills, improve hand-eye coordination, and can help improve short-term memory.

Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are another popular puzzle-solving activity that can enhance cognitive abilities. They require us to think creatively and critically, which can lead to better problem-solving skills and enhanced vocabulary.


Sudoku is a number-based puzzle-solving activity that can help improve cognitive abilities. It challenges our logical reasoning skills, enhances spatial reasoning, and improves memory.

Brain Teasers

Brain teasers are another type of puzzle-solving activity that can provide numerous benefits for the brain. They challenge our problem-solving skills, improve memory and reasoning skills, and can provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

How to Incorporate Puzzle-Solving into Daily Life

Benefits of Doing Puzzles

Incorporating puzzle-solving into your daily routine is an excellent way to reap the benefits of this activity. Here are some tips for incorporating puzzle-solving into your daily life:

  • Set aside time each day for puzzle-solving activities.
  • Keep a puzzle book or app with you for easy access.
  • Start with puzzles that are appropriate for your skill level.
  • Mix up the types of puzzles you do to challenge your brain in different ways.


Are there any particular types of puzzles that are better for improving cognitive abilities?

No, any type of puzzle can be beneficial for improving cognitive abilities. The key is to choose puzzles that challenge you and require you to think critically and problem-solve.

What age group is puzzle-solving suitable for?

Benefits of Doing Puzzles - Food for the Brain?

Puzzle-solving is suitable for people of all ages. Children can start with simpler puzzles and work their way up to more challenging ones as they develop their problem-solving skills. Adults can also benefit from puzzle-solving, as it can help improve memory and cognitive abilities.

Can puzzle-solving help with stress and anxiety?

Benefits of Doing Puzzles - Food for the Brain?

Yes, puzzle-solving can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. When you focus on solving a puzzle, you’re able to take your mind off of other stressors in your life and give your brain a break. Additionally, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes with solving a puzzle can be a mood booster.

Additional Reading


Is doing puzzles good for you? As found in this article puzzle-solving is an excellent way to exercise your brain and improve your cognitive abilities. By engaging in this fun activity, you can challenge your problem-solving skills, enhance your memory, and reduce stress levels. The psychological benefits of doing puzzles are backed by research and scientific evidence, and it’s easy to see why many people find it to be an enjoyable hobby.

Remember, puzzle-solving is not just a hobby for kids or something to do on a lazy afternoon. It’s a challenging and rewarding activity that can benefit people of all ages. Whether you’re looking to improve your cognitive abilities, reduce stress, or simply enjoy a fun pastime, puzzle-solving is a great option.

So the next time you’re feeling stressed or looking for a new challenge, grab a puzzle and get to work and reap the benefits of doing puzzles.

For me, I find working on puzzles to be a great way to relax. What benefits you have found in doing puzzles? Please comment below.

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