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Play is good for your brain!

According to Mark Sisson in his book The Primal Connection: Following the Genetic Blueprint to Health and Happiness, being creative is good for you.  “Far from being mere childish distractions,” says Sisson, “creativity and imagination are crucial to the development of advanced cognition, problem solving, and social empathy.  Imagination arms us through the tumult of adolescence, the disorientation of life’s griefs, and all the ordinary dilemmas of everyday living.  Yet, it also spurs us forward – to higher goals and down more risky, but ultimately rewarding paths.”

Sisson refers to work done by Dr Stuart Brown, a psychiatrist and clinical researcher and the founder of the National Institute for Play.  Dr. Brown has spent the greater part of his career studying play in animals and humans.  His findings are interesting and important to all of us and particularly to artists.

Perhaps you had not thought that doing your creative work is actually good for you and for your brain development.  Maybe you don’t want to think of creative work as another thing you have to do that is good for you.  But when the going gets tough and you start to wonder why you should keep creating, it may be helpful to think that what you are doing has many levels of value, apart from your apparent success or lack of success.

Often times we are encouraged to see our creative work as play.  This approach, it seems, helps us to loosen up and let our imagination run free.  It is exciting to see that scientific research backs this up.  Julia Cameron in The Artists Way encourages us to take a weekly artist’s date.  This is really a play date with your self – a time to do something fun.  Cameron believes this regular time commitment to these weekly play dates will help your imagination soar and lift your mood.

So find some time to play this week.  You won’t regret it!

First Edition of the Creativity Coaching Newsletter

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