10 May, 2021
Not everyone is a fan of it, but those who do would swear by it. Crossword puzzles are much more than a leisure activity. Many people wait for the newspaper to try their hand at solving it. Many newspapers run daily, weekly puzzles, and a few even run campaigns on it. They engage with the readers and announce prizes for the correct solvers.
Apart from the newspapers, there are many books available which are full of crossword puzzles. And in the age of the Internet and apps, there are enough resources for people who love to solve crosswords. With the lockdowns becoming the new normal, we are forced to find new ways to keep ourselves busy, active, and happy. If you aren’t already a fan of crosswords, maybe this is the best time to try and pick up one and solve it. You may be surprised to know that the benefits of this simple activity are multifold!
The most intriguing part of solving a crossword is finding the right word to fit in those blocks. At times, the word would be simple, often used one, and yet, when we keep staring at the squares, it doesn’t pop up. But when you do it often, you realize that slowly, it becomes easier and easier. With every clue solved, your vocabulary increases as you learn something new.
Keeps your brain sharp
Solving crosswords are an important activity for brain health to keep it sharper longer. We know that diseases like dementia cannot be prevented fully, but certainly, they can be put off. If the brain is sharp, it remains healthy and such diseases may be kept at bay. It is a good activity that promotes mindfulness as well that enriches your daily life. Solving crosswords are a kind of problem-solving as well that adds to the sharpness of the brain. Visualization capabilities definitely improve through this activity.
Solving crossword puzzles also means that one gets to pay more attention to detail. Especially if you are working on the cryptic clues rather than the easy clues, you would be forced to rack your brains. This is another reason why your brain remains sharp.
Some studies have concentrated on the cognitive capabilities improvement aspect of crossword solving, and the results are very encouraging. Even if people solve crosswords three times a week, it provides good cognitive retention and improvement benefits.
Just like how we get lost in it and forget the world around us when we pick up a book, it is the same with crosswords. When we get fully involved in solving the same, we lose track of time. This also keeps our mind busy and hence we forget the worries as well. So, solving crosswords is a good stress-busting activity that can help you beat the lockdown blues.
A form of entertainment
By now, most of us may be fed upon reading or watching TV and are looking out for more forms of entertainment. This could be a good hobby and entertainment that can be relied on to pass the time productively.
It also provides a lot of satisfaction, especially when you complete a crossword fully. That feeling of achievement can spur the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. This would keep us happy and provide an all good feel factor, which is very helpful, especially in the current situation. This could also provide a sense of purpose to people who want to solve puzzles every day and often find success.
Even in times of social distancing, activities and clubs are alive online through social media. This can be a good form of socialising to interact with like-minded people. Weekly or monthly calls may be set up on platforms like Zoom to meet and discuss the crosswords solved and generally talk to each other. You could even pick up a crossword and solve it together for fun.
Here are a few inputs that you can try out for crosswords.
Have you ever tried creating a crossword puzzle? If not, maybe now is the time. You could try your hand and share it with others and ask them to solve it, thus paving the way for the next socializing opportunity. Happy Solving.
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