AXP Health Benefits: Puzzle with Purpose

Jigsaw Puzzles are often thought of as ‘toys’ and of course they are a lot of fun but they are full of surprises and provide an amazing range of health benefits! From helping you relax with near-meditation, to improving your brain processing speed, to even preventing serious illnesses later in life, AXP Jigsaw Puzzles have a lot to offer!

Mindfulness and stress relief

Puzzles demand a level of thought, focus, and patience that is bound to challenge the mind. Concentrating while you sort through pieces or stare at the image for long periods of time is both meditative and satisfying. As we connect two puzzle pieces together (you know that lovely feeling!), our brains release dopamine, which positively affects our mood, memory, and motivation.

Jigsaw puzzles exercise the left and right sides of your brain at once. Your left brain is logical and works in a linear fashion, while your right brain is creative and intuitive. When you're doing a jigsaw puzzle, both sides are engaged, according to Sanesco Health, an industry leader in neurotransmitter testing. Think of it as a mental workout that improves your problem-solving skills and attention span. It's no surprise that Bill Gates admits to being an avid puzzler.

 Piece by piece, you feel the progressive muscle relaxation as your thoughts quiet to find the next fit. You find a sense of achievement with the satisfactory snap of interlocking shapes. You create something beautiful. . . . discover a piece of artwork and escapse into the calm process  of sorting and piecing together for 20 minutes relieves anxiety. Did you know it also increases your IQ by 4 points according to research by Dr. Susanne Jäggi at the University of Michigan. It is no stretch of the imagination why the leisure activity of puzzling continues to grow as a popular stress management tool for children and adults in therapy. Benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles include: 

Relieves stress 

Concentration becomes its own form of meditation. The mind settles into a state of peacefulness even as both the left and right brain are both engaged. Silently and seamlessly the completion of a puzzle develops flexibility, reflection, and patience. It’s the perfect digital detox.

Boost Dopamine 

Optimism increases through the accomplishment of successful interlocking. A release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for motivation and reward, washes the brain in pleasure. The result is a brightened mood and old-fashioned, biochemical encouragement.

Meditation Tool

Jigsaw puzzles are a great meditation tool and stress reliever. Focusing on one image for a long period of time, without extraneous thoughts entering your mind, is in itself meditation. By doing a jigsaw puzzle, you're getting the same benefits as if you meditated. The stress of everyday life evaporates and is replaced by a sense of peace and tranquility that lowers your blood pressure and heart rate.

Improves sleep 

Nighttime puzzling proves itself as an effective relaxation technique. Manage stress before bed by spending time on a serene landscape puzzle. Any worries or to-dos of tomorrow will fade away and your posture will soften, ready for deep sleep.

Exercise Memory

Jigsaw puzzles sharpen cognitive function by presenting creative challenges. Keeping segments of the brain active aid cranium elasticity and efficiency. Current neurology experts assert that forms of mental exercise, like therapeutic puzzles, can slow the progression of memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease through the stimulation of neuroplasticity.

Jigsaw puzzles improve your short-term memory. Can't remember what you had for lunch yesterday? Jigsaw puzzles can help with that. Doing a puzzle reinforces connections between brain cells, improves mental speed and is an especially effective way to improve short-term memory. 

Visual-Spatial Reasoning

Jigsaw puzzles improve your visual-spatial reasoning. When you do a jigsaw puzzle, you need to look at individual pieces and figure out where they'll fit into the big picture. If you do it regularly, you'll improve visual-spatial reasoning, which helps with driving a car, packing, using a map, learning and following dance moves, and a whole host of other things. 

Deepen connections 

Bonds develop over the completion of a puzzle. Offers of help flow into a dialogue, into a real conversation. The quality time and memories are the best!

Connecting with family and love ones 

Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to connect with family and friends. Starting a jigsaw puzzle and keeping it on a table in your living room or kitchen is an invitation for the whole family to participate, whenever they have a few minutes to sit down and focus. It's a tactic that parents of teens can use for starting a conversation while working toward a shared goal.

Need time alone?

Conversely, jigsaw puzzles are great for some needed alone time. Puzzling is perfect for people who want a quiet, solo break from the bustle and unrelenting stimulus of today's digital lifestyle. It can be a solitary activity or a collaborative activity with someone else. So whether you have a sweetheart or single make sure to get your puzzling action on!  

Studying an AXP Artist Jigsaw Puzzle: The exact numbers vary, but studies have determined that the average time a person spends gandering at a piece in a museum is between 15 seconds and 30 second!!!!  So why not bring home a contemporary artwork to study for hours and/or sometime/ even days with puzzling together an AXP Collector Edition Jigsaw Puzzle!