Puzzle me this…

I love doing puzzles.

All sorts – whether it be jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, Wordle, quizes – whatever.

I do them on paper as well as online, but every day without fail I do at least one puzzle.

I get a daily Sudoku challenge on my phone, but if I miss it I’ll go and seek out a hard one to tackle.

If I’m working on my computer and I feel I need a break, I’ll often indulge in a quick game of Mahjong or Freecell.

There’s sometimes a quiz in one of the online newsletters I receive daily.

It has different categories – general knowledge, history, geography, science and nature – I do okay on these.

But I knock it out of the park when it comes to dictionary and food & drink!

My weakest category is celebrity, which says a lot about me.

Even one of my girlfriends in the UK watches MAFSAU (Married At First Sight Australia). Not me.

My husband knows so much movie trivia. Me? Not a jot.

Anyway, back to the puzzles!

I sometimes do a quiz with my husband.

We always used to do Wordle and quite enjoyed Squareword – but that used some very odd words.

We tried Connections – but that was a bit too American and had some very obscure categories at times.

But now his work hours mean we rarely get a chance to do them together, so I just have to do them by myself!

Funnily enough, despite being good with language and words – I’ve never really been into crosswords.

I don’t mind Wordsearch, or Word Wheel, but crosswords, not for me.

I’ve always believed (and there’s quite a lot of research to support this) that doing puzzles, quizes and brain teasers is good for the brain – and especially short-term memory.

According to a number of websites one of the primary benefits of Sudoku is the fact that it forces you to think two or three moves in advance, which is good for the brain.

Sudoku puzzles
Sudoku puzzles

But I’ve made my own discovery!

Ok there’s no scientific research here, but I find if I do a puzzle after I’ve been meditating, my brain is incredibly focused and clear.

For example, sometimes I’ll be doing a really hard Sudoku and I get stuck.

I’ll usually pause it and make a note to come back to it later with fresh eyes.

But I’ve recently discovered if I come back to it after I’ve been meditating or doing a mindfulness practice – I solve the puzzle relatively quickly.

It’s like my brain just knows where to put the numbers.

Now there’s a lot of research on the benefits of meditating and how it can help you reduce stress and anxiety, improve your concentration and memory, and enhance your overall sense of well-being.

I’d never really thought about mental clarity.

But, if you think about it, it’s quite logical because mindfulness meditation involves training your mind and body to focus on the present moment and quieting the constant chatter of the mind.

(Note I say quieting – not clearing the mind!)

So there’s another great reason to try meditation and mindfulness.

And to keep doing puzzles of course!


Scroll to Top