Adult ADHD & Puzzles

Power of 1000 Pieces: The Surprising Benefits of Puzzling to Boost Focus and Cognitive Abilities for Individuals with ADHD

Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can present real challenges in daily life. From difficulties with focus and organisation to impulsivity and restless energy, individuals with ADHD often seek effective strategies to manage their symptoms.

One such powerful tool that has gained recognition in recent years is the humble jigsaw puzzle. So why are puzzles particularly beneficial for people with ADHD? Turns out they can enhance focus, cognitive abilities and overall well-being.

Staying Focused

One of the hallmark characteristics of ADHD is a constant struggle to maintain focus. Jigsaw puzzles, with their intriguing patterns, shapes, and colours, have the unique ability to captivate the mind, drawing the attention of individuals with ADHD. Engaging in puzzle-solving activities can create a "flow" state, where distractions fade away, and the individual becomes fully absorbed in the task at hand. This absorption promotes sustained attention and allows for a temporary respite from the chaos of ADHD symptoms. The simple process of piecing together visual images allows for the brain to tune out the noise and focus on the task. When the brain has regular practise with tasks that require full sustained focus it begins to tap into that focus at other times too, accessing a focussed state more easily in daily life. 

Building Patience and Persistence

Patience and persistence are vital skills for individuals with ADHD to develop. Puzzles provide a perfect opportunity to cultivate these traits. Assembling a puzzle requires careful observation, trial and error, and the willingness to persevere through challenges. By engaging in more complex 1000 piece puzzles, individuals with ADHD can build their tolerance for frustration, strengthen their ability to stay on task, and develop a more patient approach to problem-solving.


Puzzles for Adults with ADHD


Developing Cognitive Skills

Puzzles exercise multiple cognitive functions, making them an ideal activity for individuals with ADHD who often struggle with executive functions such as planning, organising, and problem-solving. Completing a puzzle involves spatial reasoning, visual discrimination, pattern recognition, and logical thinking. Regular engagement in puzzles can enhance these cognitive abilities, ultimately transferring these skills to other areas of life, such as academics, work, and daily tasks.

Enhancing Memory and Attention to Detail

The intricate nature of puzzles demands attention to detail and challenges short-term memory. Individuals with ADHD often struggle with forgetfulness and impulsivity, and puzzles can serve as an effective training ground for improving these areas. Matching shapes, colours, and patterns requires sustained focus and the ability to hold multiple pieces of information in mind simultaneously. The practice of attending to details in puzzles can generalise to other situations, leading to improved memory and enhanced attention to detail in everyday life.

Providing a Calming and Therapeutic Outlet 

The hyperactivity and restlessness that often accompany ADHD can leave individuals feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Engaging in puzzle-solving can act as a soothing and therapeutic activity, helping to regulate emotions and promote relaxation. The repetitive and rhythmic nature of puzzle-solving can induce a meditative state, reducing stress levels and providing a sense of accomplishment. This calming effect can be particularly beneficial for individuals with ADHD, offering a productive outlet for excess energy and promoting a sense of inner peace.


Adult ADHD & Puzzles


Puzzles are much more than mere sources of entertainment; they have the power to positively impact the lives of individuals with ADHD. Individuals with ADHD can experience improved focus, enhanced cognitive abilities, and a greater sense of well-being. The joy of completing a puzzle goes beyond the final piece—the next time you feel the pull of distraction, consider picking up a puzzle and unlock its potential to transform your mind.

For those adults with ADHD also check out our best selling ADHD daily productivity planner. 

Author: Nicola Caras

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