Can Puzzles Help Reduce Stress?

In a world of constant movement, it can be hard to find moments to slow down and escape from the stresses of daily life. Puzzles and other crafts have long been seen as a way to disconnect from the world and find inner peace and clarity. Immersing yourself in a jigsaw puzzle can serve as an exercise in mindfulness and help relieve stress.

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Jigsaw puzzles are a great meditation tool as they allow you to focus on just one thing. Quieting the constant demands for your attention by engaging in a single task can put your mind into a meditation-like state. It decreases feelings of anxiety and helps create peace. Doing puzzles creates an opportunity for your mind to process emotions and thoughts and can put you in a better place to face life’s problems and demands.

Along with helping cope with stress and anxiety, jigsaw puzzles can even help you fall asleep at night. Taking the time to look for matching pieces can take your mind off worries and help you relax before bed.  

person putting a puzzle piece in

Puzzling can create an experience in which you become fully immersed and bring you to a state of flow. Flow is a mental state that psychologists refer to as being completely involved and focused on what you’re doing. Achieving a state of flow can help people feel greater enjoyment, energy, and involvement. Benefits of achieving flow include better emotional regulation, greater enjoyment, happiness, and more creativity.  

Dr. Susan Vandermorris, a clinical neuropsychologist says that any type of puzzle is good for the brain and that jigsaw puzzles in particular have stress-relieving benefits. “In our hyperconnected world, if you're physically doing a paper or cardboard puzzle, you are, by definition, disconnected and engaged in a task that’s immersive, away from the interruptions and stresses of day-to-day life. And that, of course, is good for your brain health." Along with the stress-relief, puzzles also give the brain an opportunity to find patterns which creates satisfaction and improves our mood.

family working on puzzle

Overall, jigsaw puzzles are an effective way to cope with stress and anxiety and create more peace and fulfillment in life. Next time work is overwhelming, or life feels too chaotic, sit down with one of our puzzles and let the stress melt away as your brain finds patterns and peace. Hop on over to our shop page to find the right puzzle for you!