What do photos of LEGO® Minifigs enjoying the forest have to do with recharging creative energy and healing all that ails you?
Well as it turns out, quite a lot. In fact, this is one of the best ways to see the world through fresh eyes. Keep reading to learn about the science behind this.
Right after the 2nd Annual Meeting for LSP Facilitators in Whistler, we headed to our remote Island hideaway for some rest and relaxation and a creative geek vacation of sorts. After a rainy, splashy boat ride, followed by a bouncy jeep ride on dark and winding tree-lined roads you won’t find on any map, we arrived at the cabin.
As soon as we stepped off the boat and onto the dock, we were greeted by a smell that this time of year can only be described as “dark-green rain forest.” It’s a mix of salt air, ferns, and pines, with a hint of smoke from wood burning fires coming from a few other cabins nestled in the woods on our small island. Once safely inside, we quickly made our own fire in the stove and settled in for night. In the morning, we awoke to the sounds of the ocean and the sun peeking through the clouds.
After our morning cappuccinos—we don’t have a telephone or cable on the island but we do have an espresso maker—we went for a walk in the forest, which doubles as our backyard. It was virtually impossible to take more than 10 steps outside our back door without spotting something amazing we just had to photograph. At first we discovered beautiful mushrooms, then a spider’s web still wet with rain drops catching a sun beam, and a waterfall coming down over our large rock face that creates a wall at the back of our property. It was a visual feast for the eyes.
As any serious LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® fan (or nerd) will explain, no creative holiday would be complete without carrying various Minifigs in your pocket—and so the fun began. We found nice places for our “people” to pose for their island photo shoot. With each photo came a discussion of light, angles, focus, etc. At night, we covered the windows with ideas on staties, solved problems, made decisions, and finished a few projects and went to bed tired but feeling productive.
So back to the recharging creative energy question. It’s not surprising that creative people feel more energized in this environment. As it turns out, the Forest Agency in Japan conducted research that found the forest emits phytoncides, antimicrobial oils that simulate natural killer cells, thus bolstering the immune system and fighting cancer. Who knew? One study found that cortisol, the stress hormone, dropped significantly after a walk in the forest, while blood pressure and pulse rates also fell.
And all this increases cognition!
Hmm, add some LEGO® bricks to this mix and you have the perfect brain-friendly recipe for an afternoon recharge.
So next time you find yourself in a creative slump, do the smart thing. Grab some of your favorite friends and put them in your pocket. Pick up your iPhone and take some photos of your Minifigs in the woods—or anywhere fun—and send them to us so we can share them for inspiration.