Puzzle Zen: Are Puzzles Good for Anxiety?

Puzzling + Meditating + Journaling = 😌

What do these three different activities have in common? They are the perfect tools to help you reach a state of peace and serenity. 

Yes, you read that right; puzzles can be peaceful, even when they feel impossible. Did you know that puzzles and mental health also go hand-in-hand?  

Much like adult coloring books, adult puzzlers have found that working on jigsaw puzzles is a fantastic stress reliever and mood booster. Unlike coloring books, puzzles can be completed with others, making this activity fantastic for quality time, too.

The Correlation Between Jigsaw Puzzles and Brain Health

We’ll admit it; when thinking of jigsaw puzzles, the first thing that comes to mind likely isn’t how they help with anxiety. However, you would be surprised how many people will work on puzzles for stress relief. When working on a puzzle, your brain enters a “zen” state, similar to that of meditation. That’s because the brain is only focused on one task - piecing the puzzle together. 

In fact, some will go so far as to engage in “puzzle therapy.” Evidence suggests that those who work on puzzles for mental health have seen a positive benefit when it comes to dealing with stress, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and ADHD. 

Jigsaw puzzles don’t involve any screen time (unless you're snapping pics of your progress or final product, of course, but that’s beside the point). Because you’re putting the phone down and engaging in a creative activity, it diverts your attention from online social platforms and can help you sleep better at night. 

How Are Jigsaw Puzzles Good for Your Brain?

In another post, we discuss this more in depth, but to summarize, puzzles are mood boosters and stress relievers. They are also beneficial for improving your mental reasoning and spatial awareness, helping you problem-solve, and enhancing your short-term memory. And, because puzzles help give your brain a mental workout, they can even increase your IQ score by a few points. 

Moral of the Story

If you’re feeling stressed, try a puzzle. Not only is it beneficial for your brain, but it's also a tranquil activity that can help you reach some semblance of peace amidst the chaos.