Writing recreationally reduces stress

By writing recreationally I get to relax for a period of time, and that's very important to me. To know that you can plan and reserve a special time when you can forget all of your worries is something to look forward to.

This isn't the same as stepping on a treadmill and watching TV. When you do that, though the exercise is good for you, you think you are resting your brain, but stressful thoughts of the day are still able to squeeze their way in.

On the other hand, when writing recreationally, a short story or poem, your brain is very focused on the task, but the task is more adventurous. It is more playful and boundless. You experiment with ideas and don't have to commit to any. You can forget all the bad stuff, for a time.

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From my experience with this, I always feel good during and after putting an article together. On more than one occasion I've ripped off several poems at a single sitting. And writing these pages is also a relaxing, rewarding endeavour.

Looking at what this can do for children is still a bit of a mystery. How their minds work when stimulated by ideas is not clearly understood. For example, one study has shown that our belief that we learn more and faster about those things we are most interested in, may work for adults, but does a strange turn-around for three year olds.

Most of us are in no position to elaborate on that which is difficult to observe. We may only assume that if a certain activity can make an adult feel good, then perhaps a similar activity might sooth a child as well.

In any case, it is the voluntary aspect of writing recreationally that is key.

It is a choice to write when we don't have to. Under no direction or mandate. To pick our own time, subject matter and setting. To let our minds wander aimlessly and bring forth new plots and scenarios that spark our imagination even further. This takes practice, and I am convinced it can serve a worthwhile purpose for children rattling around under the 'I'm bored' cloud.

Of course, how do we encourage the child to get started when they have not experienced this? How do you get their trust? What will make them believe they will feel motivation and excitement when they finally get the creative juices flowing? Well it won't be done actively, because that defeats the purpose

Sometimes it's best to just show by example. After all, as per the origins of the term recreation, this is about restoring health to our minds, and theirs.

They will experience the calmness that comes over you as you write. They will be rewarded too, because you may become more playful afterwards.

If you were to trade some of your Internet browsing time to achieve what I am talking about, you and your children would reap the benefits.

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