Are Jigsaw Puzzles Therapeutic?!
Are Jigsaw Puzzles Therapeutic?
Why yes they are! Think about how relaxed you become when you are completely enthralled in a gamut of blue puzzle pieces. Which one is the perfect fit for that one little spot? Don’t you feel serene? YES! Jigsaw puzzles are quite therapeutic indeed! They allow for increased mental stimulation, increased “good-feelings”, and improved Interactions with others.
Increased mental stimulation
It’s exercising that ever-so-important muscle “The Brain” that makes it stronger. For people with dementia, the brain muscle has begun to deteriorate and we want to counteract that by giving it a great workout every day. Just like going for a walk to make our legs stronger, if the brain is given a great workout, theoretically, its memory and thinking capabilities should improve.
Not only do jigsaw puzzles provide a great exercise for the brain, they can also put us into an amazing therapeutic trance like state. Because solving these puzzles requires the use of both sides of our brain simultaneously, we are allowed to fall into a serene state of mind where we not only have increased levels of dopamine surging through our brain, but also have a lowered breathing/heart rate, reducing blood pressure and contributing to an improvement in our overall physical well-being.
Improved Interactions with others
When completing together as a group, jigsaw puzzles can aid in improved communications and interactions with others. Instead of cultivating a sense of competitiveness against one another, a feeling of comradery can form, which encourages cooperation in other activities. While observing the puzzle, there is opportunity for conversation and reminiscing between all parties involved. When the puzzle is finished, there is a sense of achievement and purpose that can be found lacking in those experiencing Dementia.
Some great things to remember when jigsaw-ing with others
Keep in mind that everyone experiences dementia differently and is at various stages in their journey. When picking out the right puzzle, in addition to trial and error, try to pick out a puzzle that they can finish. In the end, that sense of accomplishment is ever-so important.
If you would like more info on how to pick the right puzzle for your loved one, click here.