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The Value of Puzzles
       Spending time on solving puzzles is not merely a time sink. The time invested actually helps develops life skills, and this benefit is true throughout one’s life. It hones mental abilities while opening new doors. One needs to look at things in different ways, especially if there is variation in the types of puzzles that are attempted. This can require thinking outside of the box, viewing issues from a different perspective.
       Puzzles can challenge the mind. They require active rather than passive mental activity. Simply watching television shows all too often merely passes the time. It may be enjoyable, but the shows one chooses to watch often simply reinforce the views one already has. This even applies to watching news channels, as one often selects perspectives that match one’s slant to what is going on. Solving puzzles, on the other hand, require your mind to actually be engaged.
       In addition, solving puzzles has two important benefits. It builds self-confidence and self-esteem. Succeeding at solving a puzzle feels good and can encourage taking on more challenges. It expands one’s potential. This can then influence other aspects of one’s life in a positive manner. You don’t need to succeed at solving every puzzle you undertake. The more often you try, the more likely you are to develop the skills that will enable you to succeed in the future. That, in itself, is a benefit.
       Studies have shown that solving puzzles helps early childhood education. Simple puzzles aid in developing hand-eye coordination. Similarly, they assist in shape recognition. On a broader scale, puzzles help in expanding problem-solving skills. They strengthen cognitive and memory skills. Working on puzzles also aids in enhancing a child’s language. Furthermore, this activity can offer skills in social interaction.
       Similarly, studies have shown that mental exercise is also beneficial for senior citizens. It enhances their memory, which can be critical at that stage in life. Those who regularly attempt puzzles show better cognitive skills. It helps strengthen concentration while reinforcing the connections between brain cells. Solving puzzles improves mental speed and short-term memory. Solving jigsaw puzzles helps visual-spatial reasoning and meditation. Finally, this mental activity reduces the chance of suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
       Setting aside some time for solving puzzles is beneficial throughout one’s life. I have always had an interest in a wide range of puzzles – both solving and creating them. I find word puzzles to have the potential to be especially rewarding. Solving such puzzles increases one’s vocabulary. They assist your verbal reasoning and may heighten your grammar skills. Word puzzles help build your memory. They also strengthen your problem-solving skills.
       If you haven’t previously done so, why not try the weekly puzzle I offer at this website? A new, original puzzle is posted every week, along with the solution to the previous week’s puzzle. The more often you attempt to solve them, the easier they will become as you strengthen your problem-solving skills!
  Website by Avi Ornstein, "The Blue Dragon" – 2009 All Rights Reserved