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What makes jigsaw puzzles relaxing

what makes jigsaw puzzles relaxing

Jigsaw puzzles appeal to all ages and considered to be one of the most popular pastimes. People love solving jigsaw puzzles because you canít get it wrong even if it takes you a long time to complete it. From the simple peg puzzles to the massive 3500-piece monsters that take over the kitchen table, these puzzles canít be done badly.

Brain Development

When engaging in tasks that require focus and recall like solving jigsaw puzzles, our brain creates something called Ďneural pathway.í Neural pathways are built when all sides of our brain work together at the same frequencies and reach optimal levels of performance. It helps us achieve what is called ďwhole-brain synchronisationĒ which significantly aids with brain development. These positive effects are cumulative over time which means the younger we start using both sides of our brain, the better.


Mindfulness is a mental process wherein you consciously focus your attention on the present without any judgement. Several studies have shown that mindfulness helps in early learning and behavioral development in kids which is why activities such as completing jigsaw puzzles and colouring books are quite popular in schools. Some experts also suggest mindfulness have mental benefits on adults too.

Solving a jigsaw puzzle, or any puzzle, requires focus and attention which in turn provides our mind some form of distraction that most people find relaxing. This relaxing effect is often compared to that of meditation. Since both activities require all areas of the brain to work together, itís no surprise that both meditation and completing jigsaw puzzles have similar effects.

Sense of Control

We can all agree that thereís something about completing puzzles like jigsaws that we find calming. Perhaps itís because of the challenge of completing it or the fact that thereís only one solution where we have the pieces in front of us. Either way, jigsaw puzzles can be a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. Thereís a sense of accomplishment that is both calming and uplifting as we slowly reassemble the puzzle pieces together. And when we finally complete the puzzle, it helps build our self-confidence and gives us a sense of pride. This is especially helpful for people that have low self-esteem.

The challenge brought upon by completing jigsaw puzzles can help us develop patience and resilience especially young children. Normally, we donít get it right the first time and it takes several attempts for most of us to find the right pieces to fit together. Regardless how fast or slow our progress is in completing jigsaw puzzles, or any puzzle for that matter, we know that if we only persevere, we would solve it eventually. Resilience, perseverance and patience are life-long skills that everyone should learn.

What makes jigsaws great is that they provide a flexible form of entertainment. They can be enjoyed by almost anyone either solo or with other people. Itís a fun way to bring people together and allows family members to part-take in the activity and have a quiet yet entertaining afternoon.

RELATED: What Are The Best Jigsaws for Kids

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