By Neal Taparia - 07/10/2023
Every one of us is familiar with puzzles, word games, and crosswords, but have you ever wondered what these word games do for your brain and mental health?
It is not a coincidence that we introduce children to puzzles from an early age. Solving these tasks is crucial for early brain development. When we get older, our brains become even more active and we do not stop playing these games, we simply replace them with more complex ones.
Some of them are word puzzles. We all play them, some more often than others, but stay tuned to learn what aspects of the brain we activate when we unscramble words.
When our brain receives information, we process it in short-term memory and carry it to the brain core. In the core, we store this new memory along with all memories we have created during our lives. But this process is not always perfect. Something can get lost while going through our brain paths and not be stored properly. We can significantly reduce chances for this to happen by strengthening connections among brain cells.
Also, when two cells frequently interact, they transmit information more easily and accurately. The more we practice and rehearse our brains, the easier it is to access information and strengthen inner bonds.
How Is All of This Connected to Word Unscrambling?
Every time you play a game, you try to find a solution from your previous knowledge. You are going through your brain database and recalling all solutions you can think of. You are activating your brain cells that are in charge of storing certain words. The more words you think of, the more neurons are working.
As we previously concluded, memories are easier to recall if the right brain paths are used regularly and recently. So every time you are trying to solve a word puzzle you are refreshing your memory and the more you do it, the more it expands.
If you are a regular word unscrambler, it would simply be natural for your neurological pathways to work fluently and be fast since they are ‘in shape’.
As ScienceDaily reports, experts at the University of Exeter Medical School and King's College London gathered data from an online survey where more than 17000 people aged 50 and over answered questions regarding word puzzles. They used cognitive tests to assess core aspects of brain function.
The results presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in 2017 showed that the more regularly participants engaged in puzzles, the better they performed on tasks assessing attention, reasoning, and memory. Their brains are equivalent to people ten years younger than their age when it comes to memory accuracy.
While most of us consider word unscrambling a game, it also has educational and health purposes. If scientists say that keeping an active mind can help with reducing the decline in thinking skills, then there is no place for doubt.
At first glance, word unscrambling can seem like a simple game to pass some time and reduce stress. In reality, many brain functions need to be activated in order to solve a word task. We are not even aware of most of them, but that is an asset provided by a properly functioning brain.
All work and practice must show some results, right? Some aspects of your everyday life that can be improved by occasional word unscrambling are:
While playing these games you are challenging your brain, you are thinking, searching for the right answer, considering other possible solutions, and looking for a word that fits. The task is to find a word with a certain number of letters. You may already know what some of the letters are.
It is almost like a mathematical equation. There are familiar characters and so many unfamiliar variables. When you look at it from a different perspective, there is a lot of work your brain has to do to complete this task.
But the good thing is - the more you practice, the better you get. You can improve pattern recognition, situation analysis, and recall speed, and eventually, you will come up with a solution much faster.
The main factor in strengthening memory skills is frequent recollection. The more words you unscramble, the more words simply pass through your head at the moment. And that small memory boost is enough to strengthen bonds in your brain and improve the general state of your memory.
It is essential to keep your memory capacities broad, because the better your recall skills are, the longer you will hold information in your brain. And in the long run, this is one of the most important factors in maintaining your mental health.
One of the biggest assets of good mental health is a sharp brain. The best way to determine if that is the case with you might be your speed when it comes to resolving different tasks. We might consider this as some kind of work under pressure, but if you are good at staying focused and concentrated in these situations, nothing to worry about. But - this is another thing that needs to be maintained.
Fast thinking is something that you can practice and the more you expose yourself to these situations, the easier they will become. A great way to train this skill is on a puzzle task, just like Word Unscramble.
Do not underestimate the power of a good word puzzle.All that comes out from unscrambling words can have only positive effects. The time you invest will certainly pay back. You get to relax and destress while all the useful brain functions are happening inside your head.
Oh, and another important thing - don't forget to have fun!