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It’s Puzzle Time!

by Dr. Kathleen Hall

Puzzles are a powerful tool that reduces stress, increase your memory and help low the aging process of the brain. Research suggests that puzzles stimulate the brain and may ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as improve overall brain and memory function.

Working puzzles stimulate the brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. Dopamine helps improve memory, puts you in a good mood and increase your concentration.

I was always envious of people who enjoyed doing crossword puzzles. Puzzle players always looked peaceful, happy and smart. I never thought I was smart enough or had the patience to do crossword puzzles. One of my goals for 2017 was to begin doing crossword puzzles, and now I love it. Crossword puzzles reduce stress by keeping your focus on the puzzle and away from your stressors or worries. Crossword puzzles are challenging and make you feel a sense of accomplishment.

Jigsaw puzzles are a very different kind of challenge than a crossword puzzle.

As I grew up, there was always a small table with a jigsaw puzzle on it when we visited grandparents, relatives, and neighbors. When we walked into a home, we either looked for the puzzle table or grabbed a jigsaw puzzle box and began to play. It was fun to work with others as a team to put the puzzle together. We would talk, laugh and snack on the television or radio on in the background. I remember how peaceful and fun doing a jigsaw was.

De-stress, relax and have fun doing an old fashion jigsaw puzzle with your family and friends. Challenge yourself by doing a short crossword puzzle. Reduce your stress, slow aging and discover a new aspect of your life through a puzzle.

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