During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, many people took interest in solving jigsaw puzzles as it helped them to deal with anxiety and stress. Without proper help or training, anxiety can be crippling as it affects different aspects of daily life. It is characterized by tense feeling, constant worry, racing mind, and often accompanied by breathing issues. The most obvious way people reduce anxiety is by taking prescription drugs, but they are not good for long-term consumption because of the adverse side effects. The purpose of this article is to investigate how jigsaw puzzles are good for reducing anxiety.
How Do Jigsaw Puzzles Help To Reduce Anxiety And Stress?
Studies have shown that jigsaw puzzles help to ward off neurodegenerative conditions like dementia, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because solving it requires the active involvement of the different brain regions and thereby improving the visuospatial memory. Not only that, it stimulates the dopaminergic pathways, and this helps to improve mood as dopamine is an important neurotransmitter. Also, some of the world’s brightest and creative minds like Bill Gates, Stephen King, and many scientists are fans of it. The jigsaw puzzle was created in the 1700s as a tool to educate children.
Studies by neuroscientists have shown that jigsaw puzzles help to take your mind off daily life or real-world stresses that trigger anxiety. This is because, solving a puzzle disconnects you from the distractions of this hyperconnected world of screens, and immerses you in an engaging task. It has a calming and relaxing effect as it helps your mind to focus on solving a single task, and its psychological effects are like that of meditation. Besides, it activates the reward centers of the brain, and this results in the secretion of dopamine which is also called the happy hormone.
How To Feel Better With Jigsaw Puzzles?
Solving a jigsaw puzzle is a tactile activity. The feeling of individual puzzle pieces and assembling them in the right sequence is very satisfying. Besides, this tactile sensation can be enhanced by providing different textures like matt finish, smooth and glossy finish, coarse finish, and so on. This has the added advantage of increasing the impressiveness of the game.
Shifts Minds Focus
A jigsaw puzzle helps to calm and relax the mind as the focus is on solving a single task. This is especially useful when you are feeling anxious and stressed out.
Gives Sense Of Control
Often, we feel anxious due to uncertainties, and this is an awful feeling. Doing a jigsaw puzzle helps you to overcome this as the act of sorting and separating puzzle pieces gives you a sense of control.
These are some of the ways jigsaw puzzles reduce anxiety and thereby helps you to feel better.