Some people find doing crossword puzzles a boring activity or something that only older adults do. If you happen to catch your grandpa working on the best crossword puzzle books, you’ll probably agree that it’s an older adult’s definition of having fun.
But, you’d be surprised at how beneficial crossword puzzles are to your health and well-being. From possibly preventing Alzheimer’s to making you happier, crossword puzzles offers several benefits that would convince you to play them.
It can relieve your stress
Just like most games, crossword puzzles can lower your stress levels, which spike when your brain is overworked.
For example, you try to handle several tasks all at once, pushing your frontal lobe to overdrive. That’s when your stress level goes up. If you’re working on one task, on the other hand, and then you’re not overloading your brain, your stress is reduced.
One trick to minimize your stress level is to divert your attention to another brain-stimulating activity. So, doing crossword puzzles will definitely reduce the stress in your mind and body.
It can develop your verbal skills
Doing crossword puzzles also helps improve your vocabulary and verbal skills. Obviously, you’re going to improve your vocabulary because you’ll encounter more words that you haven’t encountered before.
This also helps with your verbal skills because the more words you know, the easier it is for you to hold a conversation. Think about it: when you try to think of a word to describe a feeling you have, but you can’t come up with the appropriate term, you just stop talking. But if you know more words, then it’s easier to narrate a story or describe an event or feeling.
It can lower your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s
The next benefit is still up for debate since many scientists are saying that further studies are needed to confirm if solving crossword puzzles can prevent the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
But, it’s easy to accept the notion that solving crossword puzzles can lower the risk of these diseases. It’s because solving puzzles stimulates the brain. Health experts say that when you exercise your brain regularly, you block the development of beta-amyloid, a protein fragment associated with the development of Alzheimer’s.
It can brighten your mood
Working on a crossword puzzle can brighten your mood due to a chemical substance that helps us feel better. When you’re working towards accomplishing a feat, your body produces dopamine, which is a natural chemical substance that makes you feel pleasure.
When you’ve finally accomplished that feat, your body will release more of that dopamine to make you feel better. This is why when we score a goal or make a sale, we feel elated, because our body is producing dopamine.
When you’re solving a crossword puzzle, the mechanics work the same: you work towards solving one crossword puzzle so that your body produces dopamine. After you’ve finished the puzzle, you feel even better because your body released a large amount of dopamine.
So, before you consider that solving crossword puzzles is boring, think about the several benefits it has in store for you. You just might change your mind and grab the nearest newspaper you could find.