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Finding your Zen

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As some of you might be aware, the great British Bake Off has now finished on Channel 4, yes it’s a travesty, but what do we have to fill the void? The new series of Lego Masters! Each week we can watch a bunch of amateur enthusiast’s battle it out to see if they can become champions through their creations. Now, I’m not writing this blog to tell you all about Lego Masters, you can watch this in your own time and see what you think. I am simply writing to say, take a bit of you time for yourself and that Lego recently helped me do just this.

I am a dad of two, and my eldest daughter has started getting into her Lego. She got a few sets for her birthday this year and we had several relaxing days putting these sets together. Building the sets was that relaxing that I now own a Lego version of the Millennium Falcon. Yes, I am a self-confessed Star Wars geek as the people who know me will tell you, and yes, I am now a 33-year-old man with a child’s toy sat on top of my bookcase. When I was building the Falcon it was the most relaxing thing I have done in a while, it’s just you sat there with a load of small bricks and an instruction manual of how to put it all together. You may think that this just sounds like an alternative to putting together flat packed furniture, and that doing this would be really dull (and to some it might be), after all this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. However just being sat there concentrating on the step by step build, and not thinking about all the stress in my life was very zen like for me. This “zen” feeling is now something that Lego is marketing to the adults of the world, the toy firm’s new adverts show adults going about their hectic everyday lives only to have an hours peace when they start building a Lego kit. As the slogan goes, "Need an escape? Building with Lego bricks reduces stress and improves your well-being. It's zen, in the shape of a brick."

Studies in recent years have shown that child’s play really does have a benefit reducing stress and anxiety in adults. If you have noticed the surge in adult colouring books over the last few years, then you can understand why Lego are doing this. Health psychologist Marny Lishman says "Children are very much in the moment. They don't sit around ruminating about the past and worrying about the future like us adults. They can concentrate on the now and fully engage with what they're doing in a mindful way, which is very good for them and can be good for us adults." Read the full article here.

I honestly feel that with how rushed and stressful life can be that it is important for people to have a little time to themselves. Put down your smartphones for a bit instead of endlessly scrolling through social media or trying to impress people with pictures of your cat and try something different. It might be that you already have some de-stressor that you go to, whether it be sports, playing an instrument, reading, crafting etc. etc. As long as it helps you escape the world for even a little bit, then everything will be awesome.
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