Help reduce stress and anxiety

SIMPLY HAPPINESS: Getting lost in a Lego build can make a world of difference in troubled times.
SIMPLY HAPPINESS: Getting lost in a Lego build can make a world of difference in troubled times.

Try a hobby: LEGO

DURING stressful times, our overall health and well-being can often bare the brunt of increased anxiety.

Using meditation and mindfulness techniques can help to reduce the ongoing affects of stress in our day to day lives.

Popular past practices have included yoga, colouring in and now, Lego has become the go-to for people hoping to help their mental health and nurture their creativity.

Hobbies such as Lego play have been proven to have therapeutic qualities as those engaging in slow, mindful activities are less likely to spend time on anxious self-reflection. The focus needed to follow strict Lego building directions, or completing a jigsaw puzzle, has been found by scientists to encourage a state of mindfulness.

Committed fans have capitalised on this research, with author Abbie Headon recently releasing a hard copy book entitled 'Lego Build Yourself Happy: The Joy of Lego Play'.

The book offers up more than 50 mindful Lego building activities to help people of all ages to 'find balance, connect with friends and family, relax and improve your sleep habits'.

For one keen adult Lego-user, spending time focusing on builds was a way to reduce ongoing stress in her day-to-day life, engage in play and use her imagination.

"I remember being given my first set of Lego when I was five years old," Louise said.

Aside from simply enjoying yourself, object play has also been revealed to improve cognitive skills, focus the mind and is a simple and fun way to exercise our adult brains.

"It was a little red house with a retractable sunshade on it, little flowers in the garden and windows you could open and close.

"I thought it was great and I loved that it was so realistic, like a proper house."

As an adult, Louise said using Lego can be a great way to focus your mind and "bring a little bit of joy to your life".

ALL AGES: Playing with Lego can bring joy and be a lasting stress relief for people of all ages.

ALL AGES: Playing with Lego can bring joy and be a lasting stress relief for people of all ages.

"I find it therapeutic - it puts you in a state of flow and allows you to be creative.

"Play is all part of learning and we don't ever lose that but, for some reason, society doesn't support playing as an adult and expects us to be serious all the time," she said.

"I think that's why Lego makes so many people happy, even as adults - it's nostalgic.

"You can forget about all the heavy adults things we always worry about and just enjoy yourself."

Louise said the use of play as an adult can also help to enhance your social skills and benefit your relationships.

"I think, whether you're playing with Lego, doing a puzzle or colouring in, you're allowing yourself that creative freedom of expression that can often be suppressed as adults."

If traditional Lego isn't appealing, Lego has just released a new range called Lego Dots - an innovative 2D play range which includes room decor and wearables.

Aside from simply enjoying yourself, object play has also been revealed to improve cognitive skills, focus the mind and is a simple and fun way to exercise our adult brains.