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Puzzling & Mental Illness

In the lead up to Mental Health Awareness Week NZ (23rd September – 29th September) we think this is a wonderful opportunity to share our thoughts on Puzzling with Mental Illness.

Knowing how good a puzzle is for the brain makes puzzling a beneficial hobby for people of all abilities. It is a low cost, intrinsically motivating, cognitive leisure activity.

Facts we’ve shared throughout this series so far have highlighted the importance of puzzling to reduce the chances of developing mental illnesses such as memory loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Although not yet touched on, it is proven that people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also benefit greatly from puzzling.

For people already living with the challenges of cognitive impairment the educational and emotional value of doing a jigsaw puzzle is invaluable. Jigsaw puzzles can be introduced and modified to support the needs of each individual.

As an activity, jigsaw puzzles can help to improve practical, thinking and social skills such as;

Problem Solving because the puzzler is drawn to the problem of putting the pieces together.

Memory and Attention Span because the puzzler needs to remember colour, shape and piece patterns in order to put the puzzle together.

Social Skills because working with others promotes inclusion, listening and interaction. This builds confidence and self-esteem.

Independence which is just as important as doing puzzles with others. Completing a jigsaw puzzle alone gives a greater sense of accomplishment.

Reduce Stress by occupying and engaging the mind to create a sense of calm and serenity.

Jigsaw puzzles are a source of endless entertainment. Having fun, learning and building skills is the reason puzzling is encouraged. For family, friends and loved ones of someone with cognitive impairment seeing the practical, thinking and social skills transferred to other areas of daily life is the ultimate gift.

Jigsaw puzzles are good for mental health. We invite you to discover your path to mindfulness and wellbeing; puzzle yourself healthy with a Holdson puzzle @

Happy Puzzling Mindfulness from the Holdson Team.

P.S: Share your puzzling stories, photos and comments with us @ if your email is shared in our blog, you will win a Holdson jigsaw puzzle!

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