I came across an article on the benefits of playing Sudoku the other day and it occurred to me that each and every one of the benefits that were listed in the article are also a benefit of meditation (for a minimum of 15 minutes a day).
During the past 10 years, Sudoku has emerged as one of the most popular puzzle games in the world, with millions of Sudoku books sold and meditation is becoming the number one medicine for whatever ails you, physically, emotionally or spiritually.
Here’s what the article said are the five benefits of playing Sudoku and how that benefit is true of meditation as well and more. (My contribution is in italics...)
1. Sudoku brings a sense of calm and order. (Not only that, it brings about a deep sense of peace and is proven to build resilience, among other amazing benefits.) No matter how busy your life is, Sudoku offers a relaxing way to take a break from the world around you. (Just 15 minutes of mediation is a great way to take a break – not only for your body, which really needs it, but for your mind, which needs it even more.) Many people make Sudoku a part of their daily schedule because it refreshes them and allows them to meet the other commitments with renewed energy and vigor. (Smart people make meditation a part of their daily schedule because it allows them the focus, clarity and refreshment required, allowing them to meet the other commitments with renewed energy and vigor.)
2. Sudoku might help your brain stay healthy. The American Alzheimer’s Association has endorsed Sudoku as a “brain game” that might help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and some researchers believe that playing mentally stimulating games and puzzle games like Sudoku might be a good way to reduce our risk of dementia as we get older. (Although the science is not definitive on this subject, it’s worth thinking about!) (Meditation has been proven to speed up any wellness initiative by 25% when practiced regularly – among many, many other health benefits. And that IS a medical fact.)
3. Sudoku provides an escape. (Ok… I can see some people enjoying their meditation as an “escape” from the daily grind and “monkey mind” – or all the “tapes” we run in our brains all day long…) Sudoku is a fun puzzle game that can be played anytime, anywhere. (Meditation can be done anytime, anywhere, for as long as you’d like to.) Many people say that Sudoku and other puzzle games are “addictive,” but it’s a much healthier addiction than smoking! (Well, do I need to state the obvious here?... LOL)
4. Sudoku is fun for all ages. Sudoku can be played by children, adults and senior citizens alike. (Just like meditation. In fact, the Catholic School Board was asked by HH the Dalai Lama to teach children mediation – because we need them to grow up to be more compassionate adults – and the Board encourages it regularly). Truth is, mediation grow the part of the brain where compassion lives and shrinks the part where aggression lives.) Sudoku can even be a fun game for parents to play with their children – you can both sit together and help your child learn how to fill in the spaces on the grid, teaching logical problem-solving skills and helping your child feel a sense of accomplishment with each puzzle solved. (Meditate with your kids regularly… It will be the best gift for their development, overall health and well-being that you could ever give them. And let’s not forget to mention the bonding experience…!)
5. Sudoku can help get rid of “earworms.” Have you ever had an “earworm?” Not a parasitic worm in your ear – a song that gets stuck in your head and won’t stop replaying. Scientists at Western Washington University found that playing Sudoku (while listening to a persistent “earworm” song) helped people get the songs out of their heads faster – but only if the Sudoku puzzles were not too difficult. This is an unexpected (but much-appreciated) benefit of playing Sudoku! (I have to admit I’m stumped here… I have never tried to get rid of an “earworm” with meditation… But I bet it would work if you listened to a Guided Meditation or meditated to the sound of some singing bowls, or a tamboura drone – as I do regularly… Give it a try and let me know next time you can’t get rid of that pesky tune in your head!)
My conclusion: Sudoku is GREAT… but mediation is brain, body & soul food of the highest caliber, proven to do so many good things for you, the list is practically endless... A necessity of one wants to live a healthy, balanced and fulfilling life. Check out the Why Mediate page on the site to see just why meditation is so amazing – and why you can afford to not do Sudoku – but you can’t afford not to meditate.
by Renata Duma, Founder, MEDITATIONWORKSforSTRESS.com