We’ll let you into a secret – juggling is good for your brain, your self-esteem, and your attitude.
Here are some nuggets of information courtesy of Laughter Works:
Juggling exercises and integrates the “right” and “left” brain.
When you first learn to juggle, you are breaking the steps down into small learning steps. You are using what psychologists call the left brain, the logical, analytic, and narrowly focused side. Once you have learned how to juggle, you move into “right” brained thinking, the side that is more intuitive and holistic. When this happens, juggling becomes automatic and relaxing. Some call it a moving meditation. The left and right movement across the body literally changes our focus from left to right and back again.
Because you can only learn to juggle step by step, juggling is a great model for learning in general.
We learn to juggle drop by drop. It is not through success, but through many small mistakes (drops) that we learn to juggle. We learn from these mistakes and keep on trying until we accomplish the skill. Through juggling we learn that with practice we can accomplish great things.
Juggling is a self-esteem booster.
Juggling gives adults tangible evidence of accomplishment. Learning this newly acquired, yet heretofore seemingly impossible skill, causes all of us to take a second look at the other things we thought we couldn’t do. It challenges all our other beliefs about what is possible.
Juggling is an activity at which males and females can be equally adept, and where size and strength are not advantages.
Everyone participates, even those who are usually side-lined by athletics. Because juggling is a subjective art/sport, it is hard to make negative comparisons about the skill of others. Praise is built into the process.
Juggling is joyful.
Through the context of play, people have always learned best. Juggling breaks people out of their mental ruts and helps them be open to new possibilities and ideas.
Recent research has found that it is never too late to grow dendrites or connective cells in the brain.
Nerve cells are designed to be stimulated by new input which in turn builds a richer brain structure. New learning creates a reserve of dense connections. Researchers say that the brain benefits the most from learning that which is “exotic and unusual”— juggling—what could be more exotic!
Juggling is a perfect metaphor for life in general.
We are all continually being asked to juggle more projects, priorities, and people. Learning to juggle is a perfect way to alleviate stress from our mental balancing acts.
© Laurie Young, M.A., L.P.C. and Kay Caskey, A.C.S.W. are Holistic Health Specialists who give programs on the therapeutic benefits of laughter, play, and the use of toys and juggling to manage stress, have fun, and leap tall buildings in a single bound.
To read the full article go to Laughter Works