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Mindfulness Expert Simon Alexander Ong discusses the benefits of completing jigsaws

This National Jigsaw Day we wanted to focus on the benefits of using jigsaw puzzles to help you bring mindfulness into your everyday life. To discover a bit more about how mindfulness can help you, we asked life coach and mindfulness expert Simon Alexander Ong to talk to us about what exactly mindfulness is, and how jigsaw puzzles can be the perfect way to practise.

So what exactly is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the activity of being fully focused on the present moment while letting go of judgment. And when we are more mindful, we are able to experience life as we live it and cultivate a deeper understanding of how our minds work in the process.

What are the benefits of practising mindfulness?

The greatest benefit of all of this is a greater appreciation for how our 'invisible world' creates our 'visible world', in that we are always living in the feeling of our thinking.

How can I build in practising mindfulness to my everyday life?

An activity that can help us experience some of the many benefits of mindfulness is focusing on completing jigsaw puzzles. In a similar fashion to popular adult colouring books, it provides us with a relaxing distraction away from screens and concentrating our attention on the present moment. This activity allows us to achieve a state of creative meditation as well as leveraging the left (logical) and right (creative) sides of the brain.

But how can doing a jigsaw benefit my health?

Some studies, such as the MacArthur Study, have even concluded that people who solve jigsaw puzzles in addition to other activities that provide a mental workout, can actually lead to longer life expectancy, better quality of life and reduced chances of developing certain types of mental illnesses (e.g. memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer's disease) by up to a third.

Sometimes we have to slow down, cut off distractions and spend time being still, to allow our inner wisdom and creativity to rise from within. It's no wonder that some of our best creative breakthroughs come from that long, relaxing shower or bath. Because clarity and calmness often comes more from a mind that is still than one that is chaotically busy."

Simon Alexander Ong is a life coach, business strategist and motivational speaker. He brings magic into people's lives and businesses through deep, insightful and powerful conversations, taking them from ordinary to extraordinary. He's also a Virgin Startup mentor and has been featured in publications such as the FT, Forbes and the Huffington Post.

You can find more out about Simon at his website here:

Twitter: @SimonAlexanderO

Instagram: @simonalexandero