With recent studies of the mind, memory and things that can improve the function of both, one question that keeps coming up is can crossword puzzles make you smarter? Can the simple act of working on crossword puzzles truly make you smarter?
According to many recent studies on aging, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, the numbers indicate that performing crossword puzzles does in fact make you smarter. In addition, these mind exercises keep the mind and memory sharp to prevent the negative effects on a brain that never gets a workout. Just like exercising any muscle in your body to keep it in top condition, the brain is no exception.
In fact, working on a crossword puzzle at least four times per week will improve cognitive abilities by as much as 47%. This is a significant number when you consider that as we age, brain cells naturally die off and are not replaced. We also lose neural connections and pathways along with the dying cells. Unless we continue to work out the brain and create new neural pathways, the odds of age-related memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia increase.
It makes no difference which type of crossword puzzle you work on. By just thinking of new words or using your memory skills to think of those words that you know but haven’t used in a while is enough to stimulate the brain.
The results of these mind studies have been amazing and really exciting news for the baby boomers and the aging population in general. Since working on crossword puzzles exercises different parts of the brain, both the problem solving and memory parts of the brain are used. Some people have noticed a difference in just a few weeks of consistently working on crossword puzzles.
Can crossword puzzles make you smarter? Also consider how smart it is to look for ways to reduce stress, which is of importance to your overall health and well-being. Crossword puzzles are great stress relievers. When you focus on a puzzle instead of another problem you are having, perhaps with finances, health or a family member, you are shifting your focus away from the problems at hand and concentrating on something else.
If even just for a few minutes a day, you are focusing on a crossword puzzle and not your problems. This helps clear the mind and resets the stage for more positive emotions to come through. With a fresh mindset, you have the opportunity to deal more effectively with and come up with solutions to your other problems.
Crossword puzzles have been a favorite activity since the early 1900’s. Crossword puzzles can cover any theme, be large or small, easy or difficult. There may be many different shapes, sizes and styles, but one thing remains the same. They are an easy and entertaining way to increase cognitive skills and yes, make you smarter.
The earlier you start the crossword puzzles, the better because if the brain muscles are exercised regularly when you are young; it can delay the onset of dementia in later years. If you are diagnosed with a form of dementia, doing crossword puzzles can slow down the progress of the disorder. Getting into the habit of doing crossword puzzles at an early age sets the stage for continuing to use them in the future and helps keeps the mind healthy and sharp well into the senior years.
Crosswords puzzles are fun, can relieve stress and help ward off memory loss and dementia all at the same time. They are perfect for cold winter nights or rainy summer days. You can take them with you anywhere and it makes a long wait in a doctor’s office pass quickly.
Can crossword puzzles make you smarter? In many more ways than one, yes, they can.