If you’re looking for an activity that can help boost your mental agility, try doing online crossword puzzles. They’re a fun way to pass the time, fight boredom and alleviate stress.
They’re also an effective tool for improving your memory and can even help people with mild cognitive impairment improve their cognition. A new study suggests that working crossword puzzles may keep your brain ten years younger.
Improves Your Memory
Doing challenging puzzles can have a powerful effect on your mental agility. They can boost your vocabulary, strengthen your memory and improve your mood!
One study found that people who solved crossword puzzles regularly delayed the onset of dementia by 2.5 years. In addition, these games have been shown to help reduce the buildup of amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study involved 107 people with mild cognitive impairment randomly assigned to do crossword puzzles online or brain-training games that included memory tests, matching tasks, spatial recognition challenges, and processing speed tasks. They were asked to do four 30-minute sessions weekly for three months, then booster sessions for up to 78 weeks.
After 18 months, researchers evaluated participants using MRI scans to measure the volume of their hippocampus and cortex. They found that the participants who played crosswords exhibited between 0.5% and 1% less shrinkage in both areas than those who played online games.
The researchers say these results are significant because it suggests that home-based computer training through online cognitive games or crossword puzzles could effectively prevent cognitive decline in people with mild cognitive impairment. But they warn that this study is small and it lacked a control group.
Improves Your Concentration
Online crossword puzzles are a great place to start if you’re trying to improve your concentration power. They’re a great way to improve your attention and focus and can help you relax when stressed out.
Solving a crossword puzzle involves structured thinking, careful planning, and practical considerations, all of which can help you solve real-life problems better. This type of mental training can also increase your confidence and self-assurance.
A recent study found that people who spent 15 minutes doing mental exercises like jigsaw puzzles, chess, and crosswords, improved their concentration skills more than those who did other activities. This was especially true for people with anxiety who had difficulty concentrating on other activities, such as listening to music or playing games.
This mental workout can also reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease if you’re at an increased risk for them. This is because the activity can help protect your brain from shrinking, which can lead to memory loss or a decline in other cognitive functions.
In an 18-month study, people who played online crossword puzzles showed significantly less shrinkage of the hippocampus and cortex, two parts of the brain involved in memory and thought, than those who played other online cognitive games. The researchers say this is a significant result because it suggests that people who spend time playing these games will likely have healthier brains.
Improves Your Mental Flexibility
Online crossword puzzles are a great way to improve your mental flexibility. They provide a challenging workout for your brain, which helps improve memory, concentration, and other cognitive abilities.
One study found that people who regularly solve online crossword puzzles performed better on memory, processing speed, and executive function tests than those who didn’t engage in the exercises. Another found that solving puzzles significantly improved participants’ thinking and memory skills compared to those who did not use the brain training program.
Mental flexibility is the ability to adapt to changes in a situation. It helps you tolerate mistakes and errors, consider different options, and find compromises. It also enables you to see things from other people’s points of view and can help you recognize hidden relationships.
To demonstrate mental flexibility, try looking at the image below and seeing whether you can quickly identify a duck or a rabbit. A lack of cognitive flexibility can make you mentally rigid, which can cause alterations in your behavioral patterns.
Being mentally flexible is an essential skill that will help you throughout your life. It can improve your relationships, enable you to handle stress better, and help you make decisions more confidently. You’ll be able to adapt to any new situation, and your mind will stay sharper for longer!
Improves Your Thinking Skills
Crossword puzzles are a great way to improve your thinking skills. They’re an excellent exercise for the brain, and they can even help slow the shrinking of your memory.
One of the most significant benefits of solving a crossword is that it forces you to think outside the box. You’ll often find clues and answers that are difficult to decipher or misleading, so you need to think in new ways to figure out what they mean. This will also hone your reasoning skills and stimulate your creativity.
Another benefit of online crossword puzzles is their excellent opportunity to learn new words. Many of the clues and answers contain unique dishes that aren’t in a dictionary, so you’ll need to do some research to find them.
If you’re a beginner, start on a low-difficulty puzzle and work up. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can solve more challenging ones, like the Friday-Sunday Times crosswords.
The best way to improve your thinking skills is to practice daily with various puzzles. There are plenty of options online, including popular newspapers and apps that allow you to play on your smartphone or tablet. You’ll be surprised how much your brain can improve with a little daily challenge!