Why are jigsaw puzzles relaxing, calming, soothing & even pleasantly addictive?

Why are jigsaw puzzles relaxing, soothing and even a pleasantly addictive pastime?

People often ask, just why are Jigsaw puzzles relaxing, soothing, calming and even pleasantly addictive. Well, one of the main reasons are that they can sometimes have that ability to take us away from the everyday hubbub and stress of modern day living.

Doing a jigsaw puzzle of your dream house can relieve daily tensions & pressures

Doing a jigsaw puzzle of something like your dream house can help to relieve daily tensions & pressures

They have the ability to concentrate the mind on the actual puzzle, thereby giving you that much needed break from the everyday trails and pressures.. Never has this more true than in 2020, with the covid19 pandemic, though to be fair that was not the only time in history that jigsaw puzzles have served such a purpose.

For example, during the great depression, (which started in the United States in 1929 and spread throughout the western world, lasting till 1939), there was a massive surge in the buying of jigsaw puzzles. They became a cheap and pleasant way of disengaging from the troubles of that time, since many families could not afford expensive recreational activities.

So, why are jigsaw puzzles relaxing & calming in times of trouble?

During 2020, due to covid 19, sales of jigsaw puzzles rocketed and created an actual shortage, with the laws of ‘supply and demand’ coming into play.

Initially, the sales were due to people being stuck at home with little to do, and pastimes like assembling jigsaw puzzles enabled them to occupy their time.

However, during this period a lot of people found a deeper sense of solace and comfort in completing puzzles, something which regular puzzlers had known for a long time. 

Many have found assembling jigsaw puzzles to be challenging to the brain, giving them a sense of well being and a feeling of achievement when completed, in addition to turning out to be a really enjoyable leisure pastime. Placing a piece in a jigsaw puzzle can be very rewarding and fulfilling for an individual.

Regaining a sense of control & accomplishment

Perhaps, just as importantly people have found that doing jigsaw puzzles gives them a sense of control, which in times such as covid19, they do not have. In doing a puzzle you have complete and utter control on the outcome, you know it will end and you get the feeling of relief and accomplishment when completed. Psychologically, this is a very strong contributing factor to the sense of well being.

Can doing jigsaw puzzles give you the same sense of control & calmness as jigsaw puzzles?

Can doing jigsaw puzzles give a similar sense of control & calmness as meditation?

Quoting Patrick K Porter, creator of ‘BrainTap Technologies’ “The conscious mind is known as a servomechanism, meaning it is goal-striving” he continues “During quarantine, when we have no environmental changes from one day to the next, it can feel like we’re living in Groundhog Day, as depicted in the Bill Murray movie. Jigsaw puzzles provide a challenge that gives this goal seeking behaviour an outlet. With each puzzle piece found, the puzzler gets a little hit of dopamine, which soothes the brain, and this reward then climaxes with the puzzle’s completion”.

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When concentrating and being totally engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle, many people feel a sense of calm, experiencing peacefulness, and this can result in a lowering of your blood pressure and easing current anxieties.

So, the answer to the question of ' why are jigsaw puzzles relaxing, calming & soothing', can be found in those comments.

With puzzles you are, of course, putting together something that already exists and you can be assured of a pleasing outcome, in addition to the fact there are so many different types of puzzles these days, everyone can find something that will suit them.

So, why are jigsaw puzzles relaxing, calming & soothing for the whole family?

While many have found, or know, that doing jigsaw puzzles on your own is it a great pastime, others have discovered that it can also be great entertainment for the whole family.  Many families have recently taken up the fashion of leaving a jigsaw puzzle on the kitchen, or living room, table and family members just sitting down and adding to the puzzle as and when they feel like doing so.

jigsaw puzzles can be a solo and a family pastime

Doing jigsaw puzzles can be a solo and a family pastime

As mentioned earlier in this article, doing jigsaw puzzles require a certain amount of concentration that takes us out of ourselves, the everyday worries and concerns, and doing a jigsaw puzzle can also give you a similar experience to meditation.

Time can pass unnoticed when assembling a puzzle, your mind moves into a different state of being and concentrates on a sole objective, in this state of mind your brain locks out all other thoughts, taking you away from your worries, much the same as meditating will do.

Ironically in this state of mind, your brain can even process other feelings and worries you may be feeling, de-stressing your body and mind.

Just to recap " Why are jigsaw puzzles relaxing, calming & soothing & even pleasantly addictive"?

Well this can be down to several factors.

  • There is a clear purpose
  • They give you a sense of control and you know there will be a final satisfactory outcome
  • You get a feeling of accomplishment
  • They can be an meditative experience
  • Assembling jigsaw puzzles is something that can be done with other family members
  • They can be an escape from all that surrounds you

If you don’t already do them, I guess the best way to answer the question "why are jigsaw puzzles relaxing & calming" is to put it to the test by doing a puzzle and see what benefits they bring for you.

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