According to a recent study by the National Institutes of Health, solving jigsaw puzzles taps into multiple cognitive abilities and may improve your cognitive health, including helping to regulate distressing emotions. Stress is a complicated emotion and obstacle, often leaving us feeling stuck with our routines or unable to problem-solve–this is where jigsaw puzzles come in.

Jigsaw puzzles encourage us to focus our minds and hands on a singular task, with the rewards of our work literally at our fingertips! Nothing is more relieving than completing a 500-piece puzzle the size of half your dining room table only to be greeted with the soothing image of a waterfall or a picture of your loved ones.

From sorting the pieces to reflecting on the heart-warming or tranquil images on the box, MakeYourPuzzles helps you create a relaxing activity you can enjoy when things feel overwhelming. With customization options that allow you to transform your favorite travel photos into a jigsaw puzzle, you can transport yourself away from the stressors of everyday life into a time when you couldn’t be more relaxed.


The Mental Health Benefits of Puzzles

In addition to averting your mind from stressors, puzzles have several mental health benefits.


Relax and Unwind

Solving puzzles encourages you to focus on the present moment, and a tactile activity keeps your hands busy. This can soothe your nerves, help you feel productive, and even lower your heart rate. 

Dr. Patrick Porter, a neuroscience expert, explains that dedicating just thirty minutes a day to solving jigsaw puzzles can “lead to a significant decrease in anxiety levels.” Puzzles take you away from screens while keeping you present, without being overwhelming or over-stimulating.


Hone Your Problem-Solving Skills

By solving puzzles, you can engage both sides of your brain at the same time, which gives you a ‘mental workout.’ The analytical part of your brain, the left side, focuses on pattern recognition and sequences while the intuitive side of your brain, the right side, measures the puzzles holistically to gauge progress.

jigsaw puzzles for stress relief | MakeYourPuzzles

Embrace Your Creative Side

Puzzles can get you into a particular meditative state that exists somewhere between focused and creative. Because both sides of the brain are engaged simultaneously, your brain can move from a wakeful state to a more activated dream state. 

This middle ground is similar to how our brains operate when we are in a meditative state or engaging in mindfulness training. By regularly engaging your mind this way, you can enhance your creativity. 


Connect With Loved Ones

Whether you’re struggling with social anxiety or feeling lonely and stressed, engaging in a jigsaw puzzle with others can strengthen social bonds and alleviate stress. When you solve a puzzle as a team, you’re working on a shared challenge and celebrating the victory (solving the puzzle) together.

Completing a puzzle with another person takes the pressure off of maintaining conversation and gives you something to talk about naturally. This is always why we recommend romantic jigsaw puzzles for Valentine’s Day, so you and that special someone can connect over cherished memories.


Add a Personal Touch With MakeYourPuzzles


With MakeYourPuzzles, you can customize your puzzles to reflect what helps you unwind best! Upload one or more photos that take you to your favorite place, whether that’s a relaxing beach resort or a photo from your hike in the woods, and add custom text or graphics to create the pizzazz your puzzle needs.

Our puzzles come in a wide range of sizes and pieces, so you never need to bite off more than you can chew. Find your inner peace in a custom jigsaw puzzle today!

Custom Photo Puzzles relief stress | MakeYourPuzzles

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