Kids toss and tumble and imagine incredible worlds… but when was the last time you unleashed your inner child and experienced play? You might like to give it a go – especially when you consider these 3 reasons why all adults should play.
What is adult play?
Play is simple: it's all about letting go of commitments and enjoying recreational activities that have no goal or end point in mind. It could be baking, a DIY project, beach volleyball, or even just kicking back with mates and watching the sun set.
"Play is something done for its own sake," explains Dr Stuart Brown, head of the National Institute for Play. "It's voluntary, it's pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome."
When we grow up, we tend to make life serious and forget to focus on fun. But play doesn't have to end the moment we leave school or get our first job.
As Scott Eberle, editor of the American Journal of Play says, "We don't lose the need for novelty and pleasure as we grow up."
But why exactly do we need to play?
Play unleashes your creativity to solve problems
Kids naturally play as a way of figuring things out. So it's no surprise many workplaces are incorporating play to stimulate creativity and boost productivity.
You've probably heard of Google being one of the first companies to install play stations at its headquarters: it new early on that play is vital to team building, collaboration, and problem solving.
Play helps relieve stress
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy… but he's not the only one. Too much work and responsibility can take its toll on our mental health – and play might just be the antidote. In fact, studies suggest play makes us more optimistic, helps us build resilience, and even boost immunity.
And when you play, it can trigger the release of endorphins – the feel-good hormones that enhance wellbeing. Studies have also shown that play promotes brain function, while the social aspect of adult play can keep stress and depression at bay.
Play keeps you connected
As adults, it's easy to do things alone. But play allows us to make new connections or strengthen existing relationships. Shared experiences can also help us develop trust, empathy and compassion with others.
Three very compelling reasons to get out there and play. So what are you waiting for?Originally published on Aug 03, 2018