Learn How to Play Again?
As adults have we forgotten how to play? I know I have, but I think God gave us children, so we could be reminded how to play or just stop and play. I don’t have children of my own, but lately, I’ve been trying to socialize more in group activities. Many of these participants have children, and they simply bring toys and their kids run around with each other and just…play. It used to overwhelm me. They’re load screams gave me a headache and I was always afraid they would be hurt or mess something up. But along the way, I’ve learned childhood play is essential for brain development. It helps teach our kids about empathy, how to communicate with others and how to roll with the punches, Unfortunately, there is less play and more starring at screens or studying for test these days. Not only are we failing our children, but we’re failing ourselves. Remembering how to play helps our social well-being and helps us connect with ourselves and other adults.
As the quote above says, you can learn more about person through an hour of play, which is so true. It’s hard to judge someone in an office sitting, where they’re pristine and always put together. Play brings in predictable elements. They might always be chill in an environment where they can control everything, but when they get out on the field to play tag football, you might learn they’re very competitive or a sore loser.
Playing is how people connect. Have you ever seen team building exercises just be a series of tests or a speech? No. It’s usually games set up, so that we have to rely on one another and help one another. You might learn through these games, that you’re department manager actually isn’t that good of a leader, but your receptionist is. You can learn who is stiff and who already knows how to play.
Remembering how to play has many benefits, not just to help us learn about others, but to help us too. It can help relieve stress, keep you feeling you and energetic, and improve brain function. It some ways it can also be exercise, which everyone needs to get more of.
Getting out of the daily grind, is also said to maintain memory and thinking skills. Instead of atrophying from being unused, the brain keeps those connections alive and well. Learning new skills helps with this as well.
It helps us build relationships with others because it improves social skills, teaches us how to cooperate with others, and can heal emotional wounds. It’s amazing all the benefits play provides us, yet no very many people do it.
This month and this fall (when it cools off more to play outside) I’m challenging myself to play more. Learn more about myself in the process and not expect everything to come out perfect. I challenge you to get out with your kids or just yourself and play more!