Need a bit of stress relief? Try a puzzle.

Divorce ranks up there with the greatest of stressors.  The stress caused by divorce ranks just under the death of a spouse.  I would disagree with that because to me,

“Divorce is like a death but with intent”

Going through an unwanted divorce, to me, was the most stressful event in my life so far.  That being said there are many things in our lives that cause many different levels of stress.

I have been on a puzzle kick recently.  Being stuck at home during the pandemic has me searching for interesting things to do to keep my mind occupied.  I went to the attic and found a fun puzzle and I could not wait to get started.  It was only 300 pieces and I flew through it thinking I had suddenly developed an advanced skill in puzzle building.  I would soon be thrown back to reality in my attempt to build my next puzzle.

Before I go any further on my puzzle adventures I wanted to share with you that putting a puzzle together can actually reduce stress.  Let’s consult Google to find out why.  I found an article put out by the University of Delaware that states,

“There is some research that suggests puzzles and similar mental activities can provide stress relief. In our hyper-connected world with constant demands for our attention, focusing on a single task, like completing a puzzle, can put the mind into a meditation-like state. It creates a sense of peace and tranquility. Additionally, the brain likes finding patterns, so puzzles satisfy that desire, which improves our mood. Crosswords and Sudokus have a similar impact.”

Others say that putting a puzzle together can enhance concentration, make you feel peaceful, and improve your memory. The positive and satisfying reaction to finding the pieces that go together can produce a dopamine release that can positively affect our mood and thus decrease stress.
My kids went on to tell me that the puzzle I built was a special needs puzzle because it stated on the box that the pieces were “easy to see and handle”.  Truthfully I was thankful for that.
The next one I put together was a bit more difficult.  It was a farm puzzle and the pieces were deceiving.  The pieces would fit together in what seemed a perfect pairing only to find out later that was not the case and you would have to adjust the pieces.  This did not cause me any stress though I still really enjoyed putting it together.
The one I am working on now it the 500 piece Ravensburger Puzzle you see below.  Honestly, I did not see the Easy to See and Handle note at the bottom left on the puzzle box.  I am enjoying every minute of it.


I did order two other puzzles.  I am stunned at the size difference in the pieces.  My next two puzzles are 1000 pieces and each piece is tiny.
 I don’t believe this, the small pieces will diminish the stress relief effect, I think it will only enhance the dopamine release when I do finally match the pieces.  I just may need to get some stronger readers:-)
So, if you are feeling stressed or just want to try something fun I suggest you try a jigsaw puzzle.
Take Care!