I was one puzzle away from an energy flowing calm, an improved attitude, and nailing meditation!
And that would have happened if my brain hemispheres cooperated. Instead they bickered.
My trainer, Destiny, (See Post 49 “Date with Destiny”) had suggested I find a stress reducing activity since my Yoga and meditation attempts failed. (I had mentally screamed at the Yoga instructor to hurry so I could relax quickly and be on my way. During meditation I counted backwards by sevens from one hundred to practice for the Alzheimer screening test instead of breathing.)
I thought I found a destresser with jigsaw puzzling.
An article I read claimed that solving jigsaw puzzles “make you happy and calm.” This statement must be true since I read it on the Internet. More specifically I read it on the Ravensburger website. Since Ravensburger has manufactured puzzles since prehistoric times, who would know better?
I had solved jigsaw puzzles before, but that pass time ended when the demand on the time I had to pass increased.
I read further. Other articles asserted jigsaw puzzling decreased heart rate, increased positive energy flow, and improved attitude. Apparently the brain practically floods the body with dopamine as puzzle pieces fit together.
An added bonus to jigsaw puzzling is that it calls upon the right (creative) side and left (logical) side of the brain to work in concert even more so than other everyday activities. This strengthens memory.
The Beta/Alpha mind state contention cinched it for me. While solving jigsaw puzzles the mind moves from a wakeful Beta state to an Alpha state. The Alpha state is dreamlike, taps into our subconscious, and induces creative meditation.
The backdoor to meditation!
However, collaborating brain hemispheres were key to success.
I felt the tug of war as I rummaged through the stash of decade old puzzles in the back closet.
Left Hemisphere: Pick one of the unopened ones. Then we know all the pieces are there.
Right Hemisphere: Don’t limit your choices. I have a good vibe about the Monet one.
LH: We’ve already done that one.
RH: That was twenty years ago.
LH: I know. That’s why I put it on the bottom. It’s called sequence, you half brain!
RH: (Closing eyes and choosing) We’re doing the unopened deer one with the pastoral scenes on the body.
LH: That doesn’t look like a real deer.
RH: It’s called imagination, lame brain!
The squabbling continued while sorting out the pieces at the table.
LH: We’ll find the corners and work out the borders. Then we’ll have the frame.
RH: Deer don’t have corners. The puzzle is in the shape of a deer.
LH: (Exasperated) No corners? Here’s the backup plan. First, we’ll write out sticky notes for each of the legs. Then when we see pieces that might form each leg we’ll put it by that sticky note. Finally when we have enough pieces we’ll put them together.
RH: Always with plans and notes. Let’s separate them by color. Some of the pieces are in shapes of animals. Isn’t that cute?
LH: These two pieces are stuck together. We only have 998 more pieces to go!
RH: Chill, Lefty! Take a hit of dopamine. I have a feeling we’re going to be here a while.
And we are…
I’m inviting my corpus callosum to help with the puzzle at the next session.