Did you know that puzzles can be used to treat anxiety, ADHD, and various other mental health conditions? Let’s see how can jigsaw puzzles can improve your mental health, shall we?
My anxiety has been going through the roof lately.
When I worry too much about something, even if I get rid of the source of the problem, it may take hours or days before my body gets back to normal.
Usually, I would try to distract myself by watching TV or reading a good novel, but recently, it has become too difficult to concentrate on anything else.
During summertime, I would take a walk outdoors to clear my head, but during the colder seasons, running outside isn’t an option.
So, I’ve started playing jigsaw puzzles again and apparently, this isn’t a new thing.
Is “Puzzle Therapy” Effective for Mental Health?
A recent article from Refinery29 explored whether puzzles could really help to calm anxious feelings.
As people stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the puzzle game industry has been experiencing a boom. A MarketWatch report says that sales of puzzles have increased by 30 percent since March 1st.
But it isn’t just because we’re bored; although, that is certainly one reason why we play them. Puzzles are relaxing and addictive—in a good way.
I personally know for sure that I am addicted to playing word games.
I was hired as an editor at a newspaper. In addition to editing articles, I also proofread them. One day, I came across a picture of a man holding his head in both hands.
He looked really sad. I thought about what he might be thinking, then I realized I knew him. We used to hang out together.
I remembered how much fun we had. I decided to write a story about him. That night, I wrote a short piece about him.
A week later, I saw him again. He told me he liked the article. I asked if I could do another one. He said yes.
Every day after work, I’d go home and write a new story. After a month, I had five stories written. They weren’t great, but they were good enough to send to my editor. She loved them
A simple game could be fun for everyone involved, and it would help them relax after a long day at work.
While there’s no solid scientific proof that puzzle games help people deal with ADHD, there’s no denying the fact that they’ve been used for centuries by people who suffer from these conditions.
Some people even swear at 18,000+ pieces Ravensburger puzzles — they’re about the size of an average sized room carpet and look completely impossible.
According to Dr. Vaile Wright from the American Psychological Association, puzzles lower anxiety by distracting us from our worries and helping us enter a state of flow.
They also help us focus better and become more productive.
It doesn’t need to be a jigsaw, but it could be one. Crosswords, Sudokus, Words Searches, or a Rubik’s Cube can have the same effect too.
You Can Reduce Your Computer Usage by Playing Puzzles
People are looking for new activities to do during free time. Too much digital activity can lead to headaches, eyestrain, and disturbed sleep.
Remember when people were all the rage for using coloring books as a form of relaxation? Well, now there are puzzle games too! They’re just like books but they’re meant to be relaxing and collaborative.
“You can talk, someone else can listen nearby, and even if you are completely focused, you still get the feeling that you are part of something.”
Quality connections with others are an important part of beating stress and managing mental health. Next week, when you feel stressed or depressed, try working on a crossword or Sudoku instead of watching Netflix.
Even if you’re staying inside by yourself, crosswords and sudokus are great ways to distract your mind from whatever’s stressing you out.
Whenever I get stressed out or anxious, I go over to my desk and start putting together some puzzles.
When there aren’t any other options available to relieve your feelings of anxiety, like exercising or having fun with friends, solving puzzles is one of the most effective ways to deal with your anxiety.