Friday, January 4, 2008

Puzzle Time! Use It or Lose It!

Sky puzzle by jared

We all know that if you don’t exercise your muscles, they get weak and limp. So why, I wonder, don’t we do more with our minds? Sure, many of us are busy and have much to do, but surely we can find time for 30 minutes of enjoyment? Recently when my 12-year old my niece was visiting for Christmas, I got hooked on crossword puzzles again. It was a real workout to figure out what the clues meant, and I’ve found it helps me if someone else reads the clue while I’m doing something else – I seem to get more answers that way.

A great bonus from concentrating on the games is I discovered that they help to calm my mind and keep it from going in 15 different directions at once. Especially with word games or the Sudoku numbers game, my mind is only focused on that one thing and nothing else. I usually find I feel a bit more calmed and centered after completing a puzzle, as well as a bit smarter because I was actually able to finish. :0)

There are many different puzzles to choose from; jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, word finds, logic puzzles, trivia questions and brain teasers. I like to do them playfully, like a game. If the puzzles are too hard, it turns me off and I look for something else to do. It’s amazing though how quickly I notice my brain patterns changing to the point where it begins to be easier and easier to do. (Although so far I haven’t stuck with it long enough to make these things a piece of cake!)

I highly recommend trying out a puzzle or two. Sure it’s challenging and a bit hard, but then that’s the whole point. If you can get a spouse or child involved as well you’ll find it’s even more fun. You’ll also feel better when they get just as stumped on the next word or move. Many of the web sites even have timers so you can gauge your progress and see how you’re improving.

Here are a few places to get started:

Web Sudoku

Black Stump Puzzles and Brain Teasers

JigZone – jigsaw puzzles Trivial quizzes, IQ tests, logic tests

Free Crossword Puzzles

1 comment:

Kate said...

Thanks for the sudoku link! I found this site very helpful when I was learning how to play sudoku. I'm not sure if you're interested in watching how to videos, but these are great for beginners.