Retirement Life


How puzzles enchant your mind

How puzzles enchant your mind

In today’s digital age, we log on more than log off. We are constantly sliding from one screen to another with our minds often switching to autopilot. Our brains are no longer being challenged because information is served straight to us, often so quickly we hardly have time to even process it. So it's probably a good time to take a step back and engage in some mindful activities that will not only stimulate your brain but help boost memory retention.

The benefits of solving puzzles
Puzzling is hardly a newfound pastime. In fact, crossword puzzles originated in England in the 19th century. There’s a reason it continues to be a beloved hobby for people of all ages.

Puzzling is incredibly fun – almost downright addictive for the daily indulgers. It’s also a great practice to share with others, forming a creative and competitive bond between friends.

Most importantly, puzzling has been proven to boost your health. In fact, a large-scale and robust online trial, as reported by Science Daily, has found that the more regularly people do word puzzles such as crosswords, the better their brain function in later life.

The puzzle instinct
The simple world of black and white puzzles – from crosswords and wheel words, to sudoku and brainteasers – were once confined to the pages of magazines and newspapers but now devotees are able to head online to interactive websites like to fulfil their puzzling cravings.

However, the classic art of puzzling by hand is making a comeback as people start to prefer holding physical paper in their hands instead of playing on a computer screen. This all comes down to personal preference.

Puzzles can enchant your mind in a few ways, which include:

1. Using both side of your brain. When you puzzle, you use both the left and right side of your brain. Although the concepts seem simple, there is an underlying mental component to puzzles.

2. Challenge your brain to a workout. There are a variety of puzzles available that boost verbal skills, improve memory and brain function, encourage creative and strategic thinking, develop problem-solving skills as well as distracting and keeping your mind busy. The best thing about puzzles is that they offer a sense of achievement upon completion.

3. Boost your self evaluation skills. It can be initially hard to see why puzzles would increase your self evaluation skills. However, trying to figure out what pieces fit where and why that one doesn't go there is a good exercise in checking and re-evaluating your choices. This can be carried into your every day decision making processes.

With the classic art of puzzling getting such a fresh makeover and mindful activities being embraced as essential, more people are turning to puzzling to stimulate, educate and reward themselves in their daily practices. Regardless of whether they are seasoned crossword connoisseurs or simply keen to dip their toes into the puzzling realm, smart never goes out of style.

What puzzles do you enjoy doing?

Written by Editor. Republished with permission of