July 16
blog post

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  Amazing escape room! I had a blast! The Casino Heist was one of the best I have participated in. Gen was an incredible host, super friendly and welcoming. Definitely recommend!

    thumb Janeese Brooks

    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  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  My experience here was awesome! Neb was very knowledgeable and very informative. You can tell he really cares about the customers experience! Thank you guys so much for a great time. Juan the manager is awesome as well!!

    thumb Kristen Barnes
  • review rating 5  Great escape room. Would highly recommend. Nice workers. Trace did an excellent job. Definitely plan on coming again. 👍

    thumb Holly Schmidt

    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  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  Their flower shop was quite enjoyable, and Dana delivered with a lovely performance. Give her a raise 😁I've only done one room, but it was a great time. It was a bit challenging, yet did not feel too difficult for all levels of problem solving.

    thumb Caleb B
  • 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  So many fun choices, a super safe place with a super professional and kind staff. The room I did was so much fun and planned down to the millimeter. My whole crew had a blast. I highly recommend it. No wait no fuss, treat yourself

    thumb gusgusgeol
  • review rating 5  My fiancee and I were vacationing in Denver and tried out the Egyptian Tomb with another group of 4. We escaped with 5 minutes to spare! Very good room layout and good props. Puzzles were challenging and rewarding once solved. I was not a huge fan of how they did the hints... usually you have 3 hints or whatever and you ask for a hint when you get stuck, instead they give you hints when they think you need it. Otherwise, our game master, Trace, was very helpful and personable. Overall, very satisfied with our experience!

    thumb Wes Cantrell

    review rating 5  This was such a great place to go! It was our first escape room and they gave us a great experience! We will definitely be back to do other rooms! EVERYBODY should go here! They lock your phone and you have the key! Such a good friendly staff as well Jenn was such a great help!!! Overall a absoutly wonderful experience!

    thumb Nikki Schepp
  • 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  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  We had an excellent time!!! The staff was wonderful and very accommodating!! Malika and Trace were fantastic!! There was also another gentleman with a beard that has the BEST customer service!!! I'm sorry I cant remember his name... Very fun scenario!!! Thanks for a great time! We will absolutely be back for sure !!

    thumb Dhalia 1991

    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

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