What are the Benefits of Solving Crossword Puzzles?
Crossword puzzles have been a popular pastime for decades, and for good reason. Not only are they a fun way to pass the time, but they also offer a variety of cognitive, emotional, and social benefits for your brain and overall quality of life.
So if you’re curious to learn more about the benefits and why you should consider making crossword puzzles part of your daily routine if you haven’t already, here’s a clue: Keep reading.
5 Benefits of Solving Crossword Puzzles
No matter your preferred crossword type—from short to long, digital to print—the benefits of solving crossword puzzles go beyond fun and games.
Here are 5 of the primary benefits of solving these head-scratching, puzzle-piecing grids:
Improves Vocabulary and Language Skills
Many clues in crossword puzzles require you to know the meaning of words that might not be in your everyday vocabulary. So by solving crossword puzzles regularly, you can learn new words and their meanings, which can ultimately help you communicate more effectively.
In addition, crossword puzzles often include clues that test your knowledge of idioms, puns, analogies, and other types of wordplay. These particular clues can help you develop a better understanding of how language works and improve your ability to use language creatively.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Another cool benefit of solving crossword puzzles is that they can help improve your cognitive functioning, or the ways in which you use your brain, from critical thinking to memory skills and everything in between. In fact, studies have shown that solving crossword puzzles on a regular basis can help improve your working memory, short-term memory, and overall brain health. That's because crossword puzzles require you to use your brain to make connections between words and clues, which can help strengthen the neural pathways in your brain.
Improves Problem-Solving Skills
Solving crossword puzzles involves deciphering clues and filling in answers that fit the puzzle's theme and overall structure. This requires a combination of logical thinking, pattern recognition, and creative problem-solving. By regularly practicing these skills through crossword puzzles, you can improve your ability to approach problems in other areas of life with a more analytical and strategic mindset.
Crossword puzzles can also be an effective tool for stress relief and relaxation. When you're solving a crossword puzzle, your mind is engaged and you're focused on the task at hand, which can help you take your mind off of any worries or stressors in your life and unwind after a long day. So the next time you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed, consider taking a few minutes each day to kick back and solve a crossword puzzle, and see how it can help you relax and recharge.
Builds Social Connections
In addition to the cognitive benefits, crossword puzzles can improve your social bonds and overall quality of life. Solving crossword puzzles with friends or family members can be a fun and engaging way to spend time together. And in the United States, for example, many people solve the daily crossword puzzle in their local newspaper as a way to start conversations with coworkers or neighbors. Plus, with the rise of online crossword puzzles and brain training apps, it's easier than ever to connect with others who share your love of puzzles.
Beginner-Friendly Tips for Solving Crossword Puzzles
Are these benefits tempting you to want to start a crossword habit?
Getting started with crossword puzzles can be overwhelming, but don’t worry. Here are some tips to help beginners become more confident solvers:
- Start with easy puzzles: If you're new to crossword puzzles, it's important to start with easier ones before moving on to more challenging ones. This will help you build your confidence and skills gradually.
- Use a pencil: If paper puzzles are more your thing, it's best to use a pencil when solving them so that you can easily erase mistakes and make changes as needed.
- Work on one section at a time: To avoid feeling overwhelmed, focus on solving one section of the puzzle at a time. For example, you could start with the across clues or the down clues.
- Use context clues: Sometimes, the answer to a clue might not immediately come to mind. In these cases, look for context clues within the puzzle itself or in the surrounding clues.
- Don't give up: Crossword puzzles can be challenging, but don't give up too easily! Keep working at it and remember that practice makes perfect. Before long, you'll be solving even the most difficult of puzzles.
Make Crossword Puzzles Part of Your Routine with Elevate’s New Daily Crossword
Ready make solving crossword puzzles a part of your daily routine? Look no further than the newest feature in the award-winning Elevate app: The Daily Crossword. It’s a quick mini puzzle that’s packed with learning opportunities, and it can be solved in just about a minute.
A new mini crossword puzzle is available every day. And each time you complete it, you'll expand your vocabulary and discover trivia about language, science, and geography, all while keeping your cognitive skills sharp. It’s a whole new way to mix up your cognitive training in the Elevate brain training app, in addition to the 40+ communication, math, and memory games it also provides.
So why not give it a try and experience the benefits for yourself? Start your free trial of Elevate on iOS or Android, and try the Daily Crossword today. It just might become your favorite way to unwind or, you know, engage in some friendly competition with your friends to see who gets the fastest solve time.
- Discover how games and exercises are actually effective ways to build your vocabulary.
- Discover fun and practical ways to build your internal word bank and improve your vocabulary.
- Discover how to improve your problem-solving skills and make logical, informed decisions.