How do puzzles help the brain?



If you are among those who like to sit down with a classic puzzle every now and then, you know just how relaxing and rewarding this can be. The truth is, puzzle games can actually be very good for our health, and not just because of the relaxation they give. There are studies that claim that puzzles can help our brains produce dopamine. This is a brain chemical that comes with a lot of benefits. It can put you in a better mood, it can help you to concentrate and it can even improve your memory!

So if you feel a bit guilty when you’re taking time out of your day to have some fun popping cubes on Toy Crush, you shouldn’t. This could actually be an investment in your mental health! Just continue matching cubes to your heart’s content. Great puzzle games like this one are perfect for families, when adults and kids are looking for safe and fun entertainment for their mobile phones and tablets.

We need dopamine to function: Our brains are highly dependent on dopamine. It plays a big role in the control of information flow between different areas of the brain. Dopamine is essential when it comes to complex brain functions such as the storage and retrieval of memories and problem solving tasks. If the puzzle game that you are playing has a positive effect on the dopamine levels in your brain, you might actually boost your memory and become better at solving problems. That sure sounds like a good idea!

Are the kids not motivated?: Many parents struggle with getting kids motivated to do their school work. Bribes, threats, heart to heart talks… There are many ways to handle a lack of motivation but one that you might not have thought of is to use puzzles. The dopamine released in the brain from this activity also plays a role in pleasure and motivation. A puzzle solving activity can give a child feelings of both enjoyment and motivation. This can be likened to how drugs release dopamine in the same areas of the brain, but of course, as well as being a lot of fun, puzzles are totally harmless.

Using fun games, you can increase the dopamine effect and hopefully that will spill over into other areas of life, such as school work. Playing games together with our kids is also beneficial for the family. This is time well spent, time that creates a stronger bond. A stronger bond, and taking time out to play games with the family, can help kids be more receptive to your conversations about school work and other issues you need to raise.

Think creative and think fast: There are also those who say that playing puzzle games can lead to faster reaction times. The brain seems to react to puzzles by speeding up the processing and this means that you can think quicker and act smarter. Couple this with heightened creativity and you might just end up doing some new and exciting things at work and home.

When you are working on a puzzle game, your brain is constantly searching for different solutions. This gets your brain used to the idea of looking at a problem from different angles. For kids, this sort of training can be amazing. This is why you should share your puzzle games with your kids. The creativity will let you all look at the world with new vision and the problem solving skills will come in handy in many different situations, like when nobody wants to take a shower or brush their teeth! Learning to think outside the box, and see the world from someone else’s perspective is a very important life lesson.


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