[LIVE SESSION REPLAY] PLAY LIKE AN ADULT: The adult benefits of play

Play is an Adult Need

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

— FRED ROGERS

 

Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we have to make life all about work. Most of us, have forgotten how to play but we don´t realize that play can benefit our body, health, relationships, job, and mood.

Play is the absolute key in maintaining physical strength and balance as we age. But somehow, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we stopped playing.

We got busy with life, we got serious in work, we got overloaded at home and just stopped… By giving yourself permission to play, you can reap oodles of health benefits throughout life.

Play benefits

Why it’s good for grown-ups to play?

Most of us as adults, don’t recognize the value of play and how much it helps us. I want to present to you a few key benefits of play:

  1. Key to neurological development and contributes to problem-solving abilities
  2. Essential way that adults build social resilience and emotional well-being.
  3. Maintains cognitively flexible brains.,
  4. Builds creativity fuels your imagination and helps you find creative solutions
  5. Enhances the ability to integrate and organize information from all the senses

Propreiception is the input we receive from our muscles. Any time we push or pull and any time the joints are compressed together or stretched apart it sends signals to the brain. For children this means heavy work (play) and deep pressure (hugs and squeezes) for Adults think sports, hugs, massages and laughter. This type of input can be calming and relaxing. Like our sense of motion, this sense provides us with important information needed to be successful in all types of motor activities.

Play is a key to maintaining physical strength and balance as we age.

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we stopped playing. When we carve out some leisure time, we’re more likely to zone out in front of the TV or computer than engage in fun, rejuvenating play like we did as children.

Adult play 3 components

Three key elements that should be included in a play

What constitutes play for an adult? It’s got to be something that will make you forget about work and other commitments.

  1. Time to let go of work and commitments-changes your thinking pattern and uses the creative side of your brain. 
  2. Time to be social in an unstructured, creative way. The best play is spontaneous.
  3. Engage in something that makes you happy. Engage in the joyful abandon of childhood.

There doesn’t need to be any point to the activity beyond having fun and enjoying yourself.

Play will be different for every person.

What is play to one won’t be play to the next.

Play could be simply goofing off with friends,

Sharing jokes with a coworker,

Throwing a frisbee with your kids,

Dressing up on Halloween with your kids,

Building a snowman in the yard,

Playing fetch with a dog,

Acting out charades at a party, or

Going for a bike ride with your spouse with no destination in mind.

Playing board games

Dancing, going for coffee.

 

Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, supercharge learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable.

Use play to boost productivity and innovation

Success at work doesn’t depend on the amount of time you work. It depends upon the quality of your work. And the quality of your work is highly dependent on your own well-being. Taking the time to recharge through play is a great way to help your career.

 

When the project you’re working on hits a wall, take some time out to play and have a few laughs. Taking a pause for play does a lot more than take your mind off the problem.

 

When you play, you engage the creative side of your brain and silence your “inner editor,” that psychological barrier that censors your thoughts and ideas. This can often help you see the problem in a new light and think up fresh, creative solutions.

Playing at work:

  • keeps you functional when under stress
  • refreshes your mind and body
  • encourages teamwork
  • increases energy and prevents burnout
  • triggers creativity and innovation
  • helps you see problems in new ways

Key Takeaway: Why PLAY?

Relieve stress. Play is fun and can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Improve brain function. Playing chess, completing puzzles, or pursuing other fun activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function. The social interaction of playing with family and friends can also help ward off stress and depression.

Stimulate the mind and boost creativity. Adults and children often learn best when they are playing. You’ll learn a new task better when it’s fun and you’re in a relaxed and playful mood. Play can also stimulate your imagination, helping you adapt and solve problems. Think about gamification of training exercises.

Improve relationships and your connection to others. Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others. Play doesn’t have to include a specific activity; it can also be a state of mind. Developing a playful nature can help you loosen up in stressful situations, break the ice with strangers, make new friends, and form new business relationships. Playing together brings joy, vitality, and resilience to relationships. Play can also heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Through regular play, we learn to trust one another and feel safe.

Keep you feeling young and energetic. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Play can boost your energy and vitality and even improve your resistance to disease, helping you function at your best.

 

Develop and improve social skills. Social skills are learned as part of the give and take of play. During childhood play, kids learn about verbal communication, body language, boundaries, cooperation, and teamwork. As adults, you continue to refine these skills through play and playful communication.

Improve cooperation with others. Play is a powerful catalyst for positive socialization. Through play, children learn how to “play nicely” with others—to work together, follow mutually agreed upon rules, and socialize in groups. As adults, you can continue to use play to break down barriers and improve your relationships with others particularly in work..

Heal emotional wounds. As adults, when you play together, you are engaging in exactly the same patterns of behavior that positively shape the brains of children. These same playful behaviors that predict emotional health in children can also lead to positive changes in adults. If an emotionally insecure individual plays with a secure partner, for example, it can help replace negative beliefs and behaviors with positive assumptions and actions.

 

When you find yourself limiting play, it’s possible that you are felling self-conscious or concerned about how you’ll look and sound to others. Fearing rejection, embarrassment or ridicule when trying to be playful is understandable. Natural Bioenergetics energy work can help you overcome the fear and reticence giving you space and joy in play.

Listen to the whole live session replay and give me your feedback! I am here for you, so don´t hesitate with questions and comments.

 

Join me again next week and take care of yourself!

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