Clue: A fun way to improve your mood, minimize stress, and lower your risk of dementia (9, 6)
Do you know the answer?
It’s “crossword puzzle,” of course, as will be obvious to you after reading this post’s title. You see, sitting down and doing a crossword is not a time waster at all.
Rather than spending a lot of time in front of the television or looking down at Facebook on your smartphone, consider this wordy alternative. There are all kinds of health benefits attached to this popular past time and I’ll delve a little deeper into them below.
Have you been feeling down in the dumps recently? Feeling low at some point this week? If so, sit down and do a crossword puzzle.
As with any difficult task, you’ll start to feel good about yourself when you successfully complete the puzzle in front of you. This effect is partly to do with the feel-good chemical dopamine that releases when you finally achieve your goal.
This chemical messenger to your brain rewards your efforts with feelings of euphoria and bliss. The chemical process can make a real difference to the rest of your day!
The jury is still out whether doing crossword puzzles can prevent early onset dementia, but most doctors agree that stimulating your mind can slow down cognitive decline in your brain. The same thing applies to other age-related mental disorders, such as Alzheimer’s.
That’s because you can actually slow brain aging by regularly participating in mentally demanding activities. That’s provided those activities boost the growth of new nerve cells in your brain.
Thus, sitting down with a crossword puzzle on a regular bais is a must. The same philosophy applies to other word and number puzzles too, such as Sudoku. My mom loves Sudoku, by the way!
While we can’t escape stress, we can distract ourselves from it. One way is sitting down with a crossword puzzle when stress threatens to overwhelm the mind and body.
Doing exactly this activity can distance you from your troubled thoughts by concentrating on the crossword clues in front of you. For a short time, your anxieties will drift away. The worries might even disappear entirely when the dopamine in our brain kicks in and starts to make you feel happier than beforehand.
Of course, despite the positive benefits of doing this kind of puzzle, you might get a little more stressed if you get stuck on a particularly difficult anagram. Still, you could always use a word unscramble cheat program to lower your blood pressure if finding the answer to a tricky problem eludes you.
Just don’t tell anybody I gave you the link! Wink, wink.
Crossword puzzles have never gone out of fashion. Almost every newspaper and magazine has some sort of variation within their pages.
So, if you haven’t done one to stimulate your mind lately, for the sake of your health I suggest you do so! You might want to add a crossword puzzle, or a similar activity, to your to-do list for the day or week.
Euphoric feelings and a sharper mind await you. So why not do so?
Are you a crossword fan? Did you do word searches a lot when you were a kid, like me? What are some other types of puzzles?
I did not. I haven’t done them in a long time.
I love crossword puzzles ! I even buy a book of crossword puzzles. I hate New York Times’, though. lol
Have always loved crosswords and continue to )
ya good for health….and can improve intelligence level
Puzzles are a great mental stimulant.. also acrostics and sudoku!
You took likes away… or is it just me?
You’re right. For me it is an escape route when I am upset and I want to calm down. He has been with me for years and also on weekends, he entertains.
Yes, I’ve always loved doing crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles since I was a young child. I especially loved the ones in the Sunday newspaper…
I enjoy doing the crossword puzzle in the back of the weekly Woman’s World magazine.
Yes, Christy, I can attest to this but am totally surprised by the dopamine connection. Recently I traveled to a destination wedding in the Caribbean and completed 6 difficult crossword puzzles in-flight and waiting in airports. To be honest it was nearly 6, but I didn’t let that incompletion frustrate me. The fun and focus are in the doing. Thanks for confirming my hunches! Reading novels, doing crosswords and playing Jeopardy are great engagers…Hugs!
I love crosswords and puzzles it makes me feel like a challenger lol
The jury is out on the dementia link but I think there’s something to the notion of slowing mental decline and keeping synapses firing. I’m quite into crossword puzzles and my mother, at 71, does them regularly. I like to think it’s worth doing a little of something every day that exercises your brain no matter your age :)
I do enjoy crosswords, though haven’t done one for a while, I must admit. I enjoy playing Words with Friends (a Scrabble-like app) on my phone and do a jigsaw puzzle on my iPad each day. I think they achieve similar things.
It is good, Christy, but I think it’s more fun than good for the brain. It has a lot of additional support being an online game that you don’t get playing Scrabble, say.
I do enjoy crosswords but I haven’t done one in a while. I do have Sudoku on my tablet and my phone, so I can take a few moments to play when I need to unwind or a way to pass the time while I’m waiting for an appointment or an upload.
I love playing Wordscapes on my phone because it stimulates my mind and relaxes me
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.