Five Ways Crossword Puzzles Boost Your Brain
Are you in love with the little black-and-white chequered box that comes with the newspaper every day? Are crossword puzzles your preferred brain-tickle while you get ready to face another morning?
Well, Crossword Puzzles Day is coming up on 21st December, and we just wanted to tell you, you’re doing great! For Crossword puzzles are not just fun, they’re great for your brain in several ways. Here are five ways doing crosswords boost your brain.
- Vocabulary building and memory – Crossword puzzles are a great way to learn new words – and their correct spellings – in a fun and engaging way. Doing crosswords everyday can expand your vocabulary greatly, and the exercise puts you in practice for learning new things outside crosswords. It also exercises your memory regularly, thereby improving your ability to recall and remember. All of this results in better verbal skills too, as a recent study published in the Irish Journal of Psychology found.
- Logical thinking and problem solving – Crosswords require many skills that we need in real life. It takes thinking creatively, it takes perseverance, and the ability to move logically – all of which are necessary for problem solving. Doing crosswords regularly hone these skills, and make you a better problem-solver in real life too.
- Relieves stress and anxiety – Crosswords are a great stress-buster. They take our attention away from the stressors and activate the reward circuit of positive neurotransmitters in our brain when we successfully complete one, which makes us feel good. It also gives us a sense of accomplishment which positively impacts our daily work. For people with Anxiety issues, crosswords can be a great grounding exercise. They help our minds to calm down and focus on processing the puzzle at hand, which can alleviate anxiety symptoms or at least take the edge off it.
- Improves Focus – Crosswords need continued attention and focus to complete them successfully. For people who are easily distracted, crosswords can be a fun way to practice focusing on one thing alone. Going through this practice regularly improves focus in other areas of life too.
- May help with Dementia/Alzheimer’s – A study by University of California, Berkeley found direct correlation between engagement in mentally stimulating activities such as crossword puzzles and a lowered risk of memory-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The study finds, doing these activities regularly prevents the build up of toxic proteins like beta-amyloid in the brain, which are the main component of the brain-plaques that characterizes Alzheimer’s and related diseases of the brain. Although Alzheimer’s is a complex disease and many factors contribute to its development, it seems keeping your mind stimulated with crossword puzzles will help and not harm the cause.
Conclusion Crosswords are challenging, fun, and a great activity to improve your mood with myriad benefits. So if you are not one of those puzzle-heads, try giving it a go this Crossword Puzzle Day. Who knows, you might start enjoying it. Trust us, your brain definitely will.