Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Tuesday Tickle: Brain Power From Puzzles

on March 27, 2012

Creative people need brain power. Brain power brings the good ideas out in the open so we can shape and form them into novels, paintings, or whatever medium it is we work with. Besides inspiration and the right foods, our mental faculties need regular workouts to stay sharp and focused so we can recognize a good idea when we see it. Puzzles are a quick and easy way to keep our thinking powerful. 

How and why do puzzles help our brains stay alert and focused? The brain’s mini-computer runs on “software” much like our laptops and other digital thinking tools. Our brains require attention, processing, cognitive flexibility, the ability to retrieve stored information, and reasoning skills to get us through our basic day. These functions need regular challenge and are strengthened and more readily available to us if we remember to weave brain exercises into our lives.

Schedule creative play and work puzzles on a regular basis and your brain skills will remain sharp and intact for much longer. We all have so much on our plates these days that working a puzzle for brain training rarely crosses our fuzzy minds. Keep it simple and play games on your cell phone, carry around a small word puzzle book, and keep puzzles readily available in the house where it will allow you take just a few minutes on a regular basis and work it out.

Here’s an interactive word search puzzle using words from the Writer Wellness plan to get you started. It’s fun. Try it and then look for other puzzling ways to keep your brain humming. What is your favorite kind of puzzle and why?

Writer Wellness Interactive Word Search Puzzle


There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing,

Be well, write well.

Joy E. Held

5 responses to “Tuesday Tickle: Brain Power From Puzzles

  1. amyshojai says:

    Joy, this is terrific advice! There have been multiple studies done with dogs that show the “use it or lose it” in terms of cognitive exercises helps reduce or slow brain aging just as it does in people. With pets it can be practicing obedience exercises or giving them “puzzles” just as you suggest with the two-legged animals. *s*


    • Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog says:

      Fantastic comment, Amy. Now that I think about it, taking my dog to obedience school was puzzle practice for her and it worked! Kewl-


  2. Joanna Aislinn says:

    I love puzzles in different shapes and forms. Got into crosswords and did them regularly in my 20s–really picked up on my vocabulary, too. Used to be able to almost complete a logic puzzle; I’d always mess up TWO of the answers. Now? No way can I even map one out, lol. I’ll stick to the crosswords and the occasional Bubbles.


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