I love doing jigsaw puzzles. It’s one of my favorite pastimes, aside from reading. I didn’t really start thinking about why I loved them so much until the “stay-at-home” order was in place and all I wanted to do was a puzzle. Some would maybe argue that completing a jigsaw puzzle is tedious and stressful work, some may be overwhelmed by the idea of connecting lots of little pieces together to make a whole, but then there are people like me, who obsess and thrive off of the benefits that come with completing a puzzle.
So what is it that’s so addicting to us jigsaw puzzle-lovers?
#1 :: It helps you relax and practice mindfulness
My favorite thing to do is to turn on my favorite music, light a candle, grab a snack, maybe a glass of wine, and get after it. It helps me to relax and not have to think too hard about any decisions that I normally have to make. It forces me to be mindful in a relaxing way.
#2 :: It improves the brain
Many studies have been conducted that show benefits to cognitive thinking, spatial awareness, and memory. It is especially beneficial to older people and those who may suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. But there are cognitive benefits to any age, even toddlers.
#3 :: It creates bonding time with the family or alone time for yourself
There’s something about gathering around a puzzle that creates a bonding experience. Maybe it’s the shared challenge or just something that everyone is capable of joining in on, regardless of intelligence level or personality type. If you don’t enjoy doing a puzzle with others, it also makes for great alone-time for yourself to get away and escape. I think it’d be safe to put this in the category of “self-care.”
#4 :: It’s a stress reliever
Being a parent or having a stressful job comes with lots of decision-making throughout each day. By doing a jigsaw puzzle, the only decisions you have to make is whether or not to try fitting “this piece” with “that piece.” It’s a low-stress pastime that doesn’t require strategic thinking.
#5 :: You can move at your own pace
I love how you can set up a space to complete a puzzle and come back to it as frequently as you’d like. You could obsessively work on it all at once until it’s finished, or you could take your time and do a little bit each day. Isn’t it about the journey instead of the destination, after all?
#6 There is an end goal
When your puzzle is complete, you’re met with a feeling of accomplishment. Goal-setting is always a good practice to creating a healthy lifestyle. Who says completing a puzzle can’t be a part of your goal-making lifestyle?