Playing is something for little children. Since you’re grown up you shouldn’t play at all.
That couldn’t be more wrong! Playing is incredibly powerful, especially when it comes to your health.
It’s not that we don’t like to play, it’s more of societal pressure that prevents us from playing. They only play we usually encounter is competitive play.
There is not a real concrete definition for play, as it is an (often rather spontaneous) process than a mere thing. Playing also focuses on the process, not any result, which is quite different from what we are usually used to.
There are various benefits of playing, some of them include:
- stress relieve, as it releases endorphins, one of your feel good chemicals.
- improves your mental health & brain function, especially when playing games that challenge the brain, such as chess or puzzles.
- creativity boost and improved learning, since you are more likely to learn something when it is a fun, instead of a dull and boring activity.
- improves your relationships when playing with others. Sharing a fun activity and laughing together will result in better relationships.
- it keeps you young like George Bernard Shaw says: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
There are even more benefits and each of us also, can benefit from individual positive effects. Maybe playing will also increase your activity as you are playing catch with your children or it will result in a better relationship with your wife when the two of you are playing games together.
Playing is an incredibly easy thing to do, but also not very appreciated.
Unfortunately, you won’t get the benefits of playing if you don’t do it on a regular basis. Of course, you don’t have to play every second of your day, but make it a habit of playing as often as you can.
Give yourself permission to play every day, only then you’ll be doing it. Don’t see it as wasted time, but something that will rather make you more productive and focused.
In case, you have kids they are the ideal partners for your to play with. There’s something about children that’s still so magical, as their sense of play hasn’t been yet destroyed by the society. Take them as an example and mimic their behaviour in any way you can. This will give you a new perspective on many things.
Playing is also everywhere around you, as the psychiatrist Stuart Brown MD., who wrote the book Play, mentioned: “it’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing.”
For Brown, every activity can be turned into play. Whether it’s playing tennis with your friends or walking your dog.
Scott G. Eberle, Ph.D., the editor of the American Journal of Play, also agrees on this topic. He sometimes even asks his dog what he thinks about the presidential candidates.
For many people playing will look silly from the outside, but that’s just because the haven’t experienced this in a long time.
Play in whatever way suits you best and you will reap the physiological and psychological benefits it brings.
Steps to take:
- Find a great game.
- Find people to play with.
- Start playing.