- Adults who are playful receive health benefits
- Having fun brings people together by creating a safe space
For some, of which’s belting out a karaoke tune. For others, of which’s exploring a brand-new city or playing kickball.
of which’s what mortgage banker Sue Hamilton does for fun.
“of which brings you back to a little bit of your childhood,” the 41-year-old said.
Hamilton plays every week having a team at Atlanta’s Piedmont Park.
“We all remember playing kickball via PE when we were in grade school. You can get hit by the ball without getting hurt, which I think is actually probably a Great thing for most of us,” said Hamilton, whose husband is actually also on a kickball team.
“I think most people go to work, in addition to maybe there’s not as much silliness or playfulness in their day … in addition to you do of which with others, which is actually a plus for me — of which social component,” she said.
‘Play is actually essential to our health’
So, what exactly is actually play?
In addition to being the “action of a game,” play is actually defined as “recreational activity; especially: the spontaneous activity of children,” as well as “the absence of serious or harmful intent” in addition to “a move or series of moves calculated to arouse friendly feelings.”
“Play is actually so deeply ingrained in terms of our own evolutionary drive to survive, he said. “Play helps us connect with some other people because we are open in a way of which allows them to feel, maybe, This kind of is actually a safe person to be with in addition to maybe even fun to be around.”
of which’s much more than a game, White said. in addition to for adults, of which’s not necessarily just intimate-partner time.
of which’s a way of life, he said, of which allows you to let your guard down, not be so serious in addition to, as a result, connect better with others.
“We all come into the entire world knowing how to play,” White said, adding of which as adults, we shouldn’t feel like we have to grow out of of which.
“Play is actually essential to our health,” he said. “If you want to have a fun life, you can’t have a fun life without play.”
“Your blood pressure goes down,” he said. “You Discharge dopamine.”
People who play at work solve problems creatively
Play also makes you more productive, White said.
“What you get via the culture is actually ‘work’s important,’ ‘more is actually better,’ ” said White, who consults with companies on creating healthy work environments.
Adults, instead, should “figure out how to have more fun doing your work,” he said.
People tend to perform better professionally when they’re in a state of play, White said, noting of which “playing” with problems at work sparks creativity.
Many companies are well aware of the power of fun to foster innovation. Google helped blaze the trail years ago when of which set up play stations with ping pong, billiards in addition to foosball tables all over its main campus. The company offered free snacks in addition to exercise classes, in addition to of which let hundreds of software engineers design their own desks or work stations.
Google encouraged employees to play in addition to collaborate, which of which said helped with team-building in addition to cooperation.
Working with professional sports teams, White has taught athletes to “play easy,” rather than “playing hard,” by easing up on a grip or holding their bodies more loosely.
“The best performances occur when they’re playing easy,” White said.
of which’s a metaphor, he said, for anyone trying to accomplish a goal: Loosen up a little, have fun, in addition to you’ll see progress.
“If you can figure out how to do of which, you’re going to be a lot happier in addition to be more fun to work with,” White said. “You’ll be happier parents, a better spouse, a better partner.”
The science behind play
The evolutionary importance of play can be demonstrated inside brains in addition to behaviors of rats in addition to primates, said Dr. Sergio Pellis, neuroscientist at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.
In his experiments, he denied rats the opportunity to engage in play by fighting in addition to wrestling.
Those rats developed deficiencies in their brains’ pre-frontal cortex. This kind of is actually the area responsible for executive functions, such as creating judgment calls in addition to emotional regulation.
“If you’re an adult male rat put in another cage of a rat you don’t know, the resident rat will see you as an intruder in addition to beat you up,” Pellis said.
If you’re a normal rat, you’ll find any place to hide — a platform, perhaps — in addition to stay there, he said.
“If you’re a play-deficient rat, you’ll get beaten up in addition to shortly thereafter move again in addition to attract even more attention,” he said. “You’re not figuring out the appropriate thing to do in This kind of situation.”
Similar research with monkeys led to the same results, said Pellis, co-author of “The Playful Brain: Venturing to the Limits of Neuroscience.”
While This kind of type of experiment cannot be replicated in juvenile humans for ethical reasons, social science studies have shown kids who engage in more play end up with higher social skills a few years down the line, Pellis said, predicting more research inside next decade on adult human brains at play.
For 30-year-old kickball player Wesley Brown, an urban planner in Atlanta, the opportunity to take the field is actually truly a “social lubricant,” a phrase White uses to describe play.
“I’ve made friends through kickball,” Brown said. “There’s no way of which I could’ve ever met any of these folks before: very, very different backgrounds, very different professions.
“Through playing in addition to having fun together, we organize different activities during the week,” he said. “We have a baby shower of which we planned. We have a wedding shower. We’re a very close-knit team.”
Hamilton, the banker, feels the same way.
“of which’s an easier way to create conversation because there is actually a definitive topic, whereas, maybe, meeting somebody somewhere else at a bar or something, of which’s not always easy to have a shared conversation,” she said.
in addition to then there’s the fun of just letting go.
“I feel like I’m a kid most days, so, for me, This kind of is actually just another aspect of of which,” Hamilton said. “I like to laugh a lot. I like to run around in addition to be silly.”
Hamilton loves “being able to have of which recess time of which we did when we were younger in addition to you can run around the field in addition to be free of your daily responsibilities for at least an hour,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about work. You’re not thinking about whatever personal things might be going on in your life.”
“The person at the grocery store of which’s in line, can you goof with them? Or are you just in a hurry: ‘Oh, they’ve got 14 items’; you counted them, in addition to of which’s 12 or less. ‘I can’t believe of which!!’ How does of which feel being in of which psychological space?”
Life, he said, is actually much easier having a playful approach.