Just because we are not children anymore, does not mean we shouldn’t still play. Playing is an essential part of our success and should be incorporated into our daily lives. As busy working adults, it is easy to forget to play.
Play can be goofing off with friends, sharing jokes, throwing a frisbee, dressing up on Halloween with your kids, building a snowman in the yard, playing fetch with a dog, acting out in a fun game of charades, or going for a leisurely bike ride. There should be no other point to the activity beyond having fun and enjoying yourself. By giving yourself permission to play with no agenda, you can reap tons of benefits throughout your life.
Here are five benefits you can expect when you take time to play.
1.Spark’s creativity – We know that children learn best while playing, but the same is true for adults. You will learn a new task much faster when you make it fun and lighthearted. Play also stimulates your imagination which helps you figure things out, dream about possibilities, adapt to challenging situations, and solve problems more easily.
2.Increase’s energy and mood – Play is fun and triggers the release of endorphins, your body’s natural “happy” chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of wellness and can even reduce physical pain temporarily. When you play, you will be happier, have more energy, and feel more optimistic.
3.Keeps you young longer – The famous George Bernard Shaw quote says, “We don’t quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing”. This could not be truer. Science shows that when we play, we are more resistant to disease and illness. It improves vitality and helps you function at your best.
4.Builds community and connections – Sharing laughter and fun creates a relaxing and playful environment that can break the ice with people. It lightens the tensions and allows for forming new friendships and business relationships.
5.Improves brain function – Play does not have to include a specific activity; it can also be a state of mind. Developing a playful nature makes life a lot less stressful and helps to keep you in a more positive state of mind. Doing things like playing strategic games, working puzzles, or other fun activities that challenge your brain, can help with memory and overall brain function.
When you give yourself permission to let go of structure and just enjoy the pleasures of playing, you set yourself up for a more fulfilling and successful life. So, go play today!
Written by: Kim Martin, Founder of I’ve Decided, INC