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Solving a Rubik's cube can seem like a daunting and even impossible task to beginners. However, with enough practice and determination you can do it. How can solving this fascinating puzzle help your cognitive abilities?

“I just peel the stickers off.”

I learned to solve a Rubik's cube a few weeks ago. Like most who never have, I thought I couldn't do it. I believed that only some people could solve the cube and that I wasn’t one of them. So I never even bothered to attempt it. Why did I change my mind?

I wanted to challenge myself and try something new. I’ve already noticed myself getting better at skills I didn’t use to be that good at, like spatial insight and memorization. I'm still a beginner — but I'm slowly getting better and that's cool.

Don’t think that you can solve the Rubik’s cube? Yes, you can. You can solve it. With enough time and determination, you’ll be able to solve it in no time, just from memory. Not only is solving a Rubik’s cube fun, but it can also positively impact your cognitive abilities. Are you not convinced yet?

Here’s why you should also learn to solve the Rubik’s cube.

How Do Puzzles Help Our Brains?

Puzzles are an excellent way to give the brain a boost — and the Rubik’s cube is no exception. Many love doing a small puzzle daily for fun, whether it’s a game of Sudoku or a small jigsaw puzzle. Did you know there’s so much more to puzzles than just passing time?

Your brain is like a muscle: without enough exercise, it gets weak over time. Puzzles, among many other activities, are one way you can train your brain. Every puzzle will challenge your brain in a new and exciting way. Sudoku, for instance, requires you to work with numbers, increasing your numerical skills, while solving a Rubik’s cube can improve your spatial insight.

Challenging your brain with learning how to do something new, no matter what it is, is a great way to exercise your brain. No matter your age, it’s never too late to learn a new skill, and there’s always more to learn. Learning a new skill builds fresh connections in your brain and makes your body release dopamine — the “happiness” drug that your body produces when it feels good.

Yes, puzzles can help you with many skills, but solving one can also make you happier. Learning new things is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mood. Your brain can get bored of doing the same thing quickly, and introducing a new skill might be just what it needs. When you’re worrying, it can be a lovely experience to take a break from it all and sit down to solve a puzzle.

Although solving puzzles you don’t understand yet can be frustrating at times, in the end, when you finally manage to solve the puzzle, it’s all worth it. You get this sense of accomplishment when you finish something that you never thought you’d be able to do. After that, you may even feel enticed to try another tricky puzzle.

Why Try a Rubik’s Cube?

With so many different puzzles out there, why should you try a Rubik’s cube? One of the cool things about this puzzle is that, at first glance, this puzzle seems pretty straightforward. Once you try to solve it, though, it’s a lot trickier than it first appears. That makes it a challenge, and the methods used to complete the cube are intriguing.

Most beginners, including myself, start thinking that you should solve one side at a time. That’s not the case, however, as you’ll quickly find out after solving your first side. Instead, you need to solve one “layer” at a time through algorithms — a sequence of moves done on the cube to solve it. At first, you’ll start learning just a few short algorithms, but over time you may know over 50 long algorithms. Since solving a Rubik’s cube requires memorizing so many moves, it can certainly boost your memorization skills.

Spatial insight is crucial for solving a Rubik’s cube if you want to get fast. Speedcubers, who make it their goal to solve the Rubik’s cube as quickly as possible, use a technique called “look ahead.” This is where they track where the pieces on the cube will go before they even make a move. It can be tricky to do this at first, but it can improve your spatial insight skills over time.

Finding a new hobby is always great and can be a great experience. Solving the Rubik’s cube is even more enjoyable when you do it with friends. You can ask your friends to join you while you solve the cube and help each other improve. You can also impress total strangers with your Rubik’s cube solving, and they may become your new friends. If you’re looking to find people who love solving the Rubik’s cube, you can even try attending a competition.

If you want to try a Rubik’s cube, you should get a cube and find a way to learn it. There are a lot of good cubes out there, just don’t buy the Rubik’s brand ones. You can find many great tutorials on how to solve the cube with the beginner method on Youtube, and one of them will work for you. Do you already have a friend who knows how to solve a cube? Don't be shy to ask for a tutorial!

Good luck with your first solve. Believe you can do it — because you can!

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