Whether you are a busy professional or a stressed-out human trying to get control of your health and life, there is one simple way to create some peace and harmony. Play.
And summer is the perfect time to experiment with it.
Play should feel good, it is the opposite of stress and often leads to laughter. Laughter has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and boost your immune system.
Play also relaxes you. It puts you in the moment so you do not dwell on the past, or worry about the future.
You may have to actually schedule time in your calendar to play until you discover the benefits and can then make it a sustainable habit.
Here is a list of those benefits you may be missing out on!
Improves brain function
Play chess, do crossword puzzles, play board games, or dance to music. All ways to keep your mind active.
Paint, color, dance, or play dress-up with children. Ignite your creativity and stimulate your imagination.
Improves connection with others
According to an article from HelpGuide, “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.”
Help your children or grandchildren
Play is essential for children, so we as adults need to play with them. Get down on the floor and give them your undivided attention and let them use their imagination to play.
Helps you feel young and energetic
When we play, we can energize our life and make us feel like a kid again.
Improve your health
Treat your movement like play. Have fun with it. Play in the kitchen by creating new recipes or challenging yourself to come up with new ideas. Play at the grocery store by trying new fruits or vegetables, experimenting with herbs and spices, and leaving the stress and worry behind. That might mean the “perfect Sunday prep” and the checklists go by the wayside and you allow yourself the freedom to discover the fun side of the kitchen.
Remember what it felt like to play as a child? Time would slip away as you focused on what made you happy.
Using Play at Work
More play results in more productivity. Taking breaks to walk around the block, play cards, play games, or just joke with your coworkers can strengthen bonds as well as improve your job performance.
Play gives your mind a break and can often help you see your problems in a new light. Fresh, creative ideas will pop up out of nowhere!
So, take some time today to get outside, enjoy the sunshine, and play! You will never regret the time you take to have fun.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw