All work without Play makes Jack a dull boy!

We all know that play is important for kids.

Play teaches them coordination, adult roles, social interaction, and basic problem-solving skills. But somehow, we’ve fallen prey to the idea that play is only important for kids. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” That’s what we all say now that we’re all grown. But, it turns out that play is good for absolutely everything.

Playing involves exercise, which is a good thing, but there’s more to it than that. Play relieves stress, easing relaxation. Play releases a whole range of feel-good chemicals in the brain, which not only makes play fun but relieves tension across the whole of our bodies. Thus, Play is good for our health. Feeling pressure? Get up and dance!

Playing creates a state of hyper-creativity that quite literally changes the way we see the world.
In this mind-set, nothing is just what it seems – things take on new forms, problems seem not just solvable but trivial, and we feel empowered to take on the world, that’s good for our brains too, I think.

Social bonds are created in Playing. There’s evidence that the earliest social bonds we make – those between our infant selves and our parents – are primarily playful ones. The newborn infant doesn’t encounter other people as people but just as extensions of self that are more-or-less reliable. As the infant develops a sense of its own identity and begins to recognize other people as beings with identities of their own, it begins to learn play and sociality at the same time. Enter mom or dad, leaning down and making googly-eyes at the smiling baby – bam! Sociality achieved. That doesn’t go away as we get older – play is still a rock-solid foundation for social behavior. It’s why people who can’t stand each other can bond over a soccer game between Zambia and South Africa. Tomorrow might be back to the same old everyday loathing, but for today… (And maybe tomorrow will be different, after all!)

When’s the last time you played? I mean, really played. When’s the last time you plopped yourself in front of a mirror, turned your eyelids inside out, stuck out your tongue, and sung “The A Team” theme song in the bathroom? The last time you grabbed your kid, threw him/her up in the air, and laughed with him/her in glee? (And hopefully you caught him/her on the way down!) Or chilled with family or friends over a board game or some cold liquid gold? Or just went all wiggly all by your lonesome?
We get to feeling so darn serious, it’s hard to play, to let ourselves play. You know your life has gone down an evil, evil path (the Dark Side is strong, but… well, it’s Dark huh!) especially when playing makes you embarrassed, even when you’re alone. I suggest you fix that.

Fortunately, I have a proven effective remedy for play deprivation: GO OUT AND PLAY! Come on, you know how! That’s right, shake your booty, wave your arms around your head like a mad-person, tell your workmate you love her but you’re not a cannibal and interfaith relationships are so difficult – do something downright childish. That’s an order, soldier!

And here’s the thing: spending some profoundly non-serious time with yourself or with others may well make you better at all that serious stuff that’s been sucking at your soul and preventing you from playing in the first place. You’ll feel better, be more relaxed, and enjoy more creativity.

See yah on the play side of life!!! 

We all know that play is important for kids.

Play teaches them coordination, adult roles, social interaction, and basic problem-solving skills. But somehow, we’ve fallen prey to the idea that play is only important for kids. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” That’s what we all say now that we’re all grown. But, it turns out that play is good for absolutely everything.

 

Playing involves exercise, which is a good thing, but there’s more to it than that. Play relieves stress, easing relaxation. Play releases a whole range of feel-good chemicals in the brain, which not only makes play fun but relieves tension across the whole of our bodies. Thus, Play is good for our health. Feeling pressure? Get up and dance!

 

Playing creates a state of hyper-creativity that quite literally changes the way we see the world.
In this mind-set, nothing is just what it seems – things take on new forms, problems seem not just solvable but trivial, and we feel empowered to take on the world, that’s good for our brains too, I think.

 

Social bonds are created in Playing. There’s evidence that the earliest social bonds we make – those between our infant selves and our parents – are primarily playful ones. The newborn infant doesn’t encounter other people as people but just as extensions of self that are more-or-less reliable. As the infant develops a sense of its own identity and begins to recognize other people as beings with identities of their own, it begins to learn play and sociality at the same time. Enter mom or dad, leaning down and making googly-eyes at the smiling baby – bam! Sociality achieved. That doesn’t go away as we get older – play is still a rock-solid foundation for social behavior. It’s why people who can’t stand each other can bond over a soccer game between Zambia and South Africa. Tomorrow might be back to the same old everyday loathing, but for today… (And maybe tomorrow will be different, after all!)

When’s the last time you played? I mean, really played. When’s the last time you plopped yourself in front of a mirror, turned your eyelids inside out, stuck out your tongue, and sung “The A Team” theme song in the bathroom? The last time you grabbed your kid, threw him/her up in the air, and laughed with him/her in glee? (And hopefully you caught him/her on the way down!) Or chilled with family or friends over a board game or some cold liquid gold? Or just went all wiggly all by your lonesome?


We get to feeling so darn serious, it’s hard to play, to let ourselves play. You know your life has gone down an evil, evil path (the Dark Side is strong, but… well, it’s Dark huh!) especially when playing makes you embarrassed, even when you’re alone. I suggest you fix that.

Fortunately, I have a proven effective remedy for play deprivation: GO OUT AND PLAY! Come on, you know how! That’s right, shake your booty, wave your arms around your head like a mad-person, tell your workmate you love her but you’re not a cannibal and interfaith relationships are so difficult – do something downright childish. That’s an order, soldier!

And here’s the thing: spending some profoundly non-serious time with yourself or with others may well make you better at all that serious stuff that’s been sucking at your soul and preventing you from playing in the first place. You’ll feel better, be more relaxed, and enjoy more creativity.

 

See yah on the play side of life!!!

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