January 22, 2024 – Jigsaw Puzzling

Several years ago, I returned to solving jigsaw puzzles.

While I did them when I was much younger, it has been decades since I actually started and completed one.

In the past three years, I have done about fifteen and actually enjoyed them. The content of the puzzles ranges from artwork such as Dali’s Hallucinogenic Toreador

to the State map of Florida.

Later generation puzzles have become quite sophisticated and challenging yet very enjoyable upon completion.

Some of my friends have questioned why I “waste” time doing them, but they really don’t understand the benefits and enjoyment of completing them.

Yes, they can be frustrating but when done, there is great satisfaction.

This is much like life: some frustration, developing relationships, and finding enjoyment.

So, I questioned myself why I enjoy doing them and came up with the following:

1. Relaxation: Puzzles are a great way to escape everyday frustrations
2. Health: Working on a puzzle can lower stress, blood pressure, and heart rate
3. Accomplishment: Finishing a puzzle gives a very powerful sense of achievement increasing one’s self esteem
4. Patience: Solving puzzles require one to stay focused on task
5. Mindfulness: Solving puzzles requires being present in the moment and tuning all distractions out
6. Cognitive skills: Solving jigsaw puzzles requires the use of analytic and problem solving skills
7. Mental exercise: Searching for pieces and their relationships are mental exercises that stimulate learning and brain functioning, a deterrent to dementia
8. Memory: Shapes, distinctive features, colors, and patterns need to be remembered in order to be connected with other pieces
9. Concentration: Focusing on details is necessary to successfully complete puzzles
10. Relationship building: Working on puzzles with other people can lead to building and improving relationships

By the way, this is my latest and most challenging puzzle:

I invite you to consider the benefits of jigsaw puzzling.

Email me at [email protected]. and let me know if you find as much enjoyment in them as I do.