July 16
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How Puzzles and Brain Teasers Affect the Mind

How Puzzles and Brain Teasers Affect the Mind

There’s a lot of speculation regarding whether or not puzzles and “brain training” can actually sharpen your cognitive abilities. Many people believe it’s all just a hoax or a placebo effect capitalized on by marketing schemes from companies trying to sell an overpriced product, and that you can’t improve brain and mental skills you already have. However, one simple Google search will prove to you that there are innumerable benefits to implementing puzzles and brain teasers as a regular part of your life and routine.

By playing simple mind games, you can change thought patterns, habits, abilities, and even reshape your way of thinking. In fact, some of the most esteemed psychologists recommend training your brain using puzzles and games to optimize your mental performance and even raise your IQ. Not only have puzzles and brain teasers been proven to slow cognitive deterioration later in life, but they can help you improve mental function when you’re at your peak as well.

Think Outside the Box

We’ve all been stuck on a mental block at some point, so we’re all familiar with the frustration that comes with not being able to find an angle or perspective to tackle it. But guess what solution has been found to combat such an ailment? Practicing puzzles and mind games.

Psychological studies have observed that brain teasers such as riddles and wordplay encourage you to pull from sources such as language and experience instead of your own brain for answers. This type of training will help you become unstuck from a proverbial rut, because you’ll be able to think your way around the problem instead of trying to power through an immovable block. Typically, the ability to think outside the box helps in a myriad of problem-solving and conflict resolution settings. This can be utilized in work, school, tests, and even in relational or parental conflicts.

Delay the Effects of Damage

Your brain is like a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly to maintain peak performance, but you can also prevent future ailments and diseases by playing brain teasers. It’s not just a placebo effect like some people would have you believe. Studies have demonstrated the effects of puzzles on neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, and they’ve been proven to help slow the brain cell damage caused by these illnesses. Puzzles can also help strengthen the connections between nerve cells in your brain, therefore delaying the onset of the diseases as well. Scientists have also found a correlation between the length of time in which you’ve been solving puzzles and the delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s, so implementing this habit sooner than later is in your best interest.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Working in collaboration with other people is a lost art, but it’s one of the most useful and vital skills you could acquire in your lifetime. Certain brain teasers such as those found in escape rooms emphasize the connection between teammates in the room, how they play off each other, and their communication skills. Escape rooms are especially interesting, though, because different group sizes deeply affect the dynamic and atmosphere in the room, and there are very different tactics you have to adopt based on the numbers. In any puzzle or conflict, both inside or outside an escape room, open lines of communication are imperative to your success and performance. A Yale study supported the notion that practice makes perfect even in “group project” settings, and since you’ll likely be dealing in group efforts for the rest of your life, get your reps in now. Training yourself in teamwork-related skills aids in dealing with relationships, work, and school to improve your performance in each of these areas to help you succeed.

Reset Your Brain

Many psychologists encourage taking a break from work that’s bogging you down in order to increase productivity and boost your performance. The idea is that you’ll be able to have a moment to step away, reset, and come back to your task with increased energy, new avenues of creativity, and drive. However, you won’t feel any of the effects or benefits if your break is just watching Netflix or sitting on Instagram, because you likely won’t come back with ample inspiration to truly feel the effects of your timeout. The best method of optimizing post-break productivity is by tackling a puzzle or brain teasers such as sudoku or even an online jigsaw puzzle. This way you’re able to take a break while not being completely put into relaxation mode, and a different brain function is being challenged so you can come back to work refreshed and stimulated.

Put Your Mind to the Test

Escape rooms, puzzles, and brain teasers are some of the most under-utilized forms of self-care and maintenance, and they desperately need the attention they deserve. The best thing we can do for our minds and bodies is to keep them in shape and operating at optimal performance, but we often neglect opportunities to exercise our minds. So how can we change this and implement brain training into our regular lives in both an efficient and entertaining way? It’s easier than you would think.

There are a plethora of apps you can download onto your phone for well-rounded on-the-go training, such as Lumosity or Elevate. Or you can stick to the classic, tried and true games like crossword puzzles and sudoku, which you can do on your phone or in a small booklet. However, if you want to go big by practicing all these skills at once and bringing in a group of people for extra fun and challenge, you can try an escape room. There’s no limit to the ways you can train your brain and how doing so will help you both right now and in the future, and it’s all readily available and accessible. What are you waiting for? Download an app, buy a puzzle or a game-booklet, or visit EscapeWorks Denver and see what brain teasers can do for you.

The Reviews

  • review rating 5  We had a blast! We originally did the Casino Heist, however, there were some complications with the room. Dice and Emilia provided us with wonderful customer service and had us do Outbreak instead. We appreciated how much they cared about experience and we ended up having a great time. Highly recommend if you’re in the downtown Denver area and looking for some fun!

    thumb BreAnna Fraser

    review rating 5  Did the "Beyond the Flower Shop" room with a group of six. The room was well thought out and very enjoyable. Challenging, but perfect for a group of beginners. Alisha working the front desk was amazing at introducing us to the storyline and walking us through how to do the game. She provided help at perfect times and we wouldn't have made it through without her. Will definitely be coming back with my group because of her!

    thumb Chandler Tuck
  • review rating 5  EscapeWorks Denver was a great team building event. We did Outbreak and it was very challenging for the entire group. Amelia and Savannah were great setting up the room and explaining our mission. Overall a fantastic experience and highly recommended.

    thumb Nicholas Hernandez

    review rating 5  EscapeWorks Denver was an amazing experience! We did a team outing for 2 large groups with our sales team and everyone came out so impressed. I had never done one but many in our group have, they all were at the conclusion that this was the best they have done so far! Great team building experience and very cost effective if on a budget. Savannah was awesome along with the staff that helped with our experience!

    thumb Chip Stahmer
  • review rating 5  Went here as a small group recently and had a great time. Instructions from the staff were pretty clear at the beginning and helpful in their instructions in explaining how to try to solve the room. Trace was a great guide for this experience and would happily go again.

    thumb Nate Rogers

    review rating 5  Very considerate and nice staff and a great time! My group was placed with two other people randomly and they kind of took over the whole puzzle. The employees pulled us aside to let us know what they saw and they wanted to make sure we had a great experience of our own so they gave us a coupon to come back another time. They were really helpful from beginning to end and it was super fun!

    thumb Ginger Swanson
  • review rating 5  I rented beyond the flower shop room for my wedding party. We had a blast! The puzzles were challenging but fun. There was plenty of room for everyone to work on different puzzles at the same time. We got out with 2 minutes to spare. Shout out to Trace, he did a great job at only giving us hints when we needed it. I don't like it when they're too generous with the hints, takes the challenge out of the experience. This was my third escape room in Denver and I've used a different company each time. I would definitely come back here to try a different room.

    thumb M Hulsey

    review rating 5  We came here for my birthday with a group of 11. We did the flower shop escape room and had a wonderful time. The clues were great and challenging! Emilia was a wonderful host and it was a pleasure having her lead our group. We didn't escape, but had a great time. We were 1 clue away! I would definitely like to try another room at this location. It was creative and challen, but not impossible. Thanks for a great night!

    thumb Tiger Lansing
  • review rating 5  Had a great work team retreat activity here. Loved the puzzles and escaping the "flower shop" (aka: 1920s speakeasy). I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a team building exercise or just wanting to have fun.

    thumb Robert Bogan

    review rating 5  Troy and Tommy Bohan with my son Paul Garcia-Lance and myself had the best of times trying to get out of the Egyptian tomb. We were seconds away but fell short of solving the mystery and we’re buried alive. Thank you so much for an enjoyable evening and a special shout out to Taylor and Sierra who moderated our adventure ! We have to return for our group picture and another great adventure!

    thumb Susan Lance
  • review rating 5  Emilia was fun, helpful and friendly. My husband and I were joined by a family to attempt an escape out of the Egyptian Tomb and unfortunately failed {if only we had 2 more minutes and we would have escaped!} but had a fun time and would definitely recommend!

    thumb Emily Smith

    review rating 5  The staff were very helpful and fun people. We did the beyond the flower shop room theme which was designed well even for our large group of 12 people, but I could see all group sizes enjoying this room. I appreciate the attention to detail to the escape room and the challenges placed throughout. The experience was worth it for our team-bonding event, and I highly recommend this for all types of people. Thanks for all the fun!

    thumb Melissa Rausch
  • review rating 5  We did the "Outbreak" room at EscapeWorks in Denver and we LOVED it! This was my first time in an escape room and I will definitely be back. Alisha was our liason and she was SUPER helpful. What a fun night with my kids!

    thumb Karen Ashbeck

    review rating 5  Great price, staff is friendly. My friend and I had a blast and will definitely be coming back! Selina is an awesome game master! I highly recommend this activity!

    thumb Cheyenne Wetter
  • review rating 5  We completed a team event here where we split into teams and competed to finish first. Both rooms had amazing puzzles and it was really fun. I think our company team thoroughly enjoyed both rooms. We completed The Egyptian Tomb and the Casino but one of our members in the casino team can't seem to stop mumbling numbers and math equations.

    thumb Russell Maysey

    review rating 5  Juan was an absolute gem. We had such a great time. It was challenging, exciting, and a blast. Thanks again Juan for making our experience incredible, we will absolutely be back.

    thumb Claire Schultz
  • review rating 5  My husband and I just happened to walk by and we love escape rooms so we stopped in. They luckily had an opening in the War Games room with just a small wait, but my husband loved the little games/puzzles they had in the waiting room. We had a great time and escaped thanks to our host, Trace! He gave clues at the best times! He didn’t throw too many clues at us so we could figure most of it out on our own, but also didn’t let us stay in one spot for too long! Thanks for making our experience great!

    thumb Karrisa Hampton

    review rating 5  The 1920’s Speakeasy was a ton of fun! I did this with my coworkers and it was a great team bonding experience that was just challenging enough. Our Escape Room Host, Sierra, was fantastic and made the experience that much better!

    thumb Gage Jones
  • review rating 5  Came here for my birthday and it was a blast! Super nice people. We did the Casino Heist and it was definitely challenging but they did give us clues along the way. Can’t wait to go back!

    thumb Samantha Kendrick

    review rating 5  Troy and Tommy Bohan with my son Paul Garcia-Lance and myself had the best of times trying to get out of the Egyptian tomb. We were seconds away but fell short of solving the mystery and we’re buried alive. Thank you so much for an enjoyable evening and a special shout out to Taylor and Sierra who moderated our adventure ! We have to return for our group picture and another great adventure!

    thumb Susan Lance

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