Do you play every day? If not, consider the powerful boost play could give your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Most notably, play can:
- Relieve stress when endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, are released. As an added bonus, endorphins can reduce pain too.
- Enhance brain function when you engage in cognitively challenging games like puzzles, word games, memory games, or math games.
- Boost your creativity and stimulate your imagination.
- Reduce social isolation, mitigate depression, and increase connection, trust, and intimacy.
- Improve your social skills if they happen to be rusty.
- Inject more vitality into your relationsip, deepen your feelings of intimacy, and help you to heal resentments and wounds.
- And finally, playful communication can lighten up a heavy situation, break through anger and help you move through an impasse
Seems like play is just what we need, doesn’t it?
What Is Play?
Most of all, play is considered a purposeless activity that brings about joy and pleasure. That means you’re not engaged for the sole purpose of winning, accomplishing a goal, or improving your self. You’re simply immersed in the moment-to-moment experience of play with a child-like abandon.
Animals remain playful throughout their adult life. Humans, on the other hand, tend to get bogged down in worries, work, and mental rumination, forgetting almost entirely how critical fun is to an adult’s health, happiness, and relationships.
[Seems like you? You may want to read: How to Balance Work and Play.]
So let go of any notion that play is a pointless waste of time, and bring some fun back into your life.
Not Sure How to Play?
Because I don’t get enough play, I asked people who follow my Always Well Within Facebook page to share some of the childlike activities that always make them feel good, even as adults. This is what they said:
- Playing with building blocks
- Water fight with my husband
- Playing in the rain and snow
- Walking barefoot outside
- Eating ice cream
- Dancing around the house with my cat
- Hula hooping
- Backyard cricket
- Blowing bubbles
- Drawing with chalk
- Singing silly songs
- Using building toys to simply build with no plan and then knocking them over
- Sand play
- Running around a butterfly in the garden
- Building a sand castle
- Laying on a blanket and watching the clouds move during the day
- Counting the stars at night
- Skipping rocks in the river
- Hanging out barefoot on the beach
- Laughing without any reason with someone, clapping to increase the energy of laughter
- Looking at the clouds and trying to find an Angel or a heart,
- Looking for heart-shaped rocks on the beach.
- When someone reads to me
- Throwing a frisbee on the beach
- Playing fetch with the dog
- Dancing and hanging out with my friends
- Watching cartoons
- Listening and dancing to the vinyl classics
- Tubing in the river
- Group indoor games
- Rolling down a grass covered hill
- Sharing jokes
- Building a snowman
- Going for a bike ride with a friend, with no particular destination
Maybe you would like to try one of these today?
Let Play Transform Your Life for the Better
Because you deserve to forget about your work, commitments, or troubles every once in a while. That’s what play can help you do. So don’t just look at this list, feel momentarily inspired, and then set it outside. Sit down right now and decide how you’re going to incorporate more play into your life.
Make a list of the childlike activities that always make YOU feel good. Then schedule a few each week. Invite your friends over for a game night or take your partner out to throw a frisbee on the beach, go to an amusement park, or sing karaoke.
Have fun and let the power of play transform your life for the better.
P.S. If you are drawn to the idea of play, you might also like 21 Super-Easy Tiny Pleasures Guaranteed to Destroy Stress.
So what are your favorite childlike activities that make you feel good even as an adult? I would love to hear!
Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious! Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always. With love, Sandra