The question begs to be answered; what exactly are the benefits of crossword puzzles? For many, crossword puzzles are an extremely entertaining pastime. They are good for the brain and a great activity for family bonding too. That being said, not everyone buys into the idea of crossword puzzles being physically and mentally beneficial. Over the years, there has been much debate about whether crossword puzzles are really good for you, or simply just another boredom buster.
If you’re not convinced that crossword can be beneficial in so many ways, that’s okay. Let’s dig into the possible benefits of crossword puzzles – you might be surprised by what you find out.
These are 21 compelling benefits of crossword puzzles. Doing crossword puzzles regularly:
1. Makes the average person a wordsmith.
If you want to spruce up your vocabulary and have a plethora of interesting words to choose from, doing crossword puzzles can help. With every crossword puzzle you do, you are bound to learn the meaning of a new word or two.
2. Lessens stress.
Feeling stressed out? When your mind is racing and your head is hurting and you just can’t put a stop to the stressful feelings, what do you do? The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath and quieten your mind. By quietening the mind, you can slow down, think a bit more clearly and start to dissolve the stress. A crossword puzzle is an excellent way to get your body and mind to that state of calm. The more you manage to do that, the less stressed you will feel.
3. Provides for a fun group pastime.
Doing a crossword puzzle is fun alone, but it’s even more fun as a group. Going away to a quiet retreat and want to do something as a group? Choose a fun themed crossword puzzle!
4. Awakens your inner creativity.
If you think that you can apply a scientific approach to solving a crossword puzzle, you might struggle. When doing a crossword puzzle, you will be provided with several clues that are hard to decipher as well as confusing and often misleading. Due to this, your brain has to think outside of the box. Thinking in different ways to solve a clue awakens your creativity, which you can draw on in other areas of your life.
5. Enhances your mindfulness skills.
Everyone is harping on about mindfulness nowadays. Mindfulness means that you are fully present in the current moment and that you don’t allow external thoughts to distract you from fully engaging in the present moment/experience. Mindfulness leads to better self-control, emotional balance, and improved relationships. How do crossword puzzles promote mindfulness? In order to solve a crossword puzzle, you need to fully apply yourself to the puzzle and engage with the task.
6. Is a cheap way to entertain yourself.
Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive. If you want to while away a few Sunday afternoon hours or spend an evening in alone, you can do a crossword puzzle and it won’t cost you much at all. You can download a few crossword puzzles apps (many of which are free), or you can buy a crossword compilation book. Alternatively, you can buy the weekly newspapers that have crossword puzzles in them.
7. Provides that “I’ve achieved something” feeling.
Everyone needs a sense of achievement in their lives. Nothing can compare to that feeling of knowing that you have finished something and that it was a healthy task.
8. Activates your inner “busy bee” mode.
When completing crossword puzzles regularly, it activates a part of the brain that makes you solve problems quicker, work faster, and be more efficient. People who do crossword puzzles and enjoy them generally find it easier to be motivated and productive.
9. Makes you a better detective.
Detectives have to do a lot of thinking and problem-solving in order to be good at what they do. Good problem-solving skills are of the main skills of a great detective. Crossword puzzles boost analytical skills as well as speed up your ability to sift through possible scenarios and answers. A crossword puzzle can be confusing and often require a great deal of effort to figure out. Once you start getting more skilled at solving problems, you will be more confident in yourself and your ability to handle the challenges that life throws at you.
10. Fires up rusty brain cells.
If you never give your brain a workout, it will start to get lazy. Have you ever found that people around you seem to think quicker and have wittier responses to you? That’s probably because your brain cells have become a bit rusty. The more you make your brain work, the better it will be at working. Doing crossword puzzles at least once a week can spur your brain cells into active mode.
11. Defends the brain from pesky diseases.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are sensitive topics, especially for those suffering these diseases or with loved ones who are. Studies have shown that while crossword puzzles cannot cure these illnesses, they can help to somewhat slow down the onset or relieve some of the symptoms. To protect your brain from mental illnesses, keep it active and fit.
12. Can help you get the memory of an “elephant”.
Ever have a bad case of what I like to call “forgottery”? Forgetting things or being unable to retain information and memorize things can be frustrating. This can happen to both young and old people. In order to ensure that your brain develops skills to learn and recall from memory, you need to give your brain a good workout on a regular basis. Crossword puzzles are a good workout for the brain.
13. Brings on your inner happy vibes.
Accomplishing something helps to release dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a hormone that provides a good old dose of happiness. If you are feeling down or depressed, sit down to do a quiet crossword puzzle. Really get into it and apply yourself. Once you’re done, you will feel a whole lot better for it.
14. Makes the average person more interesting.
As we grow older, we realize the importance of being able to hold a conversation and have something interesting to say. The more you know, the more you have to talk about. People who do crossword puzzles learn a lot of interesting facts and new things along the way.
15. Develops the unusual skill of good reasoning.
Not everyone is able to reason or be reasonable. When a crossword puzzle clue is hard to understand, you need to reason your way through the possible answers and look at the clues from completely different angles. The more you practice reasoning, the more advanced your skills will become.
16. Means you will never feel alone.
If you ever feel alone and need something to distract yourself, a crossword puzzle is a great option. When you have a crossword puzzle on hand, you never have to let the feelings of loneliness settle in. Now, when waiting in a queue or at the airport (or any time you need to be alone), you can keep yourself busy with a crossword puzzle.
17. Makes you “smarter”.
The more you think, the more it becomes natural to think. In my opinion, crossword puzzles develop an enquiring mind; and the more enquiring your mind is, the more you will come to know. The more you know, the smarter decision you’ll make.
It’s sometimes hard to keep busy when we put our mobile phones down and walk away from our computers, laptops, and tablets. Social media and the online world steal so much of our time and attention. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in it all. It’s healthy to take a break from social media, even if it’s just for one evening.
Crossword puzzles provide the perfect escape from social media and screens. They will keep you busy and you won’t even have time to miss the online contact.
19. Makes you a good speller.
On most occasions, computers and mobile phones make the average person a lousy speller by correcting our typos for us. When you put pencil to paper, do you know how to spell all the words in your vocabulary? Spelling is something that requires practice. The more you practice spelling words, the more attuned you will be to spelling correctly. The more crossword puzzles you do, the better your spelling will become.
20. Promotes something called “active learning”.
Active learning is a form of learning that engages you more than passive learning does, as you are actively involved in a task. Do you think you will be able to memorize facts on a sheet of paper, or do you find it easier to remember things when there’s a learning activity involved? Most people opt for the latter.
21. Makes the anxious, not so anxious!
People who suffer anxiety, often, have a racing mind and just cannot relax. When feeling anxious, haul out your crossword puzzle book, select a puzzle and apply yourself to completing it. Get really involved. Once you are fully engaged in the task, your feelings of anxiety will subside.
Add Crossword Puzzles to Your Life, and Benefit Today
It’s easy to be impressed by the many benefits of crossword puzzles. If you feel that you could do with a few (or all) of the above benefits in your life, start doing crossword puzzles. Start with the easier Quick crosswords and work your way up to Cryptic crosswords. You stand to gain/benefit a great deal.