“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw
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 and reduce stress.
Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others. Play cultivates a state of mind, developing a playful nature, help you loosen up in stressful situations, break the ice with strangers, make new friends, and form new business relationships.
Play keeps relationships fresh and exciting. It also heals resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Through regular play, we learn to trust one another, to work together, open ourselves, and try new things. Play improves the quality of your connections with co-workers, family members and friends.
Adults often worry that being playful will get them labelled as childish. But what is so wrong with that? Children are incredibly creative, inventive and are constantly learning. Wouldn’t you want to be childish if that is the definition? Remember that as a child, you were naturally playful; you didn’t worry about the reactions of other people. You can reclaim your inner child by setting aside regular, quality playtime. The more you play, joke, and laugh—the easier it becomes.
The positive feeling that comes from laughter and having fun playing remains with you even after the giggles subside. Play and laughter help you retain a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss
Our society tends to dismiss play for adults. Play is perceived as unproductive, petty or even a guilty pleasure. The notion is that once we reach adulthood, it’s time to get serious. And between personal and professional responsibilities, there’s no time to play.
Unfortunately, the only kind of play we honour (now-a-days) is competitive play but healthy, collaborative, fun, simple play is just as pivotal for adults as it is for kids. We don’t lose the need for novelty and pleasure as we grow up.
Another aspect of play is that it is purposeless. This sense of purposeless is one of reasons adults don’t play as much. As adults, we are often busy and have many responsibilities and think that almost everything we do should have a purpose. If there is no purpose, why should we take time out to do it?
Exercises to some people can often be daunting and monotonous. But play usually isn’t. Instead play makes us happy, and makes burning calories joyful and it also improves our sense of balance, spatial ability and proprioception
Intent of Inner Strength Program of Skills Beyond Education
To play, exercise and move can give us deep satisfaction and connection to the people and the world. When we move we are in constant play with the space around us and express ourselves through movement. Neuro linguistic programming suggests that we can also change how we feel inwardly through moving differently. We all know the satisfaction and poise we feel after a good game of play.
Using tools and techniques from Steiner influenced set of core exercises that was born out of study of space and movement from observing how children naturally move in space. These exercises were specifically designed to enliven and anchor our physical bodies. This program involves basic principles of healthy movement and our role as an individual in supporting our self-development.
Playing simply for the pure joy of playing is getting replaced with competition and performance oriented sports training and games.
Inner Strength Program games offer scope for
- The entire group to fully participate joyfully, irrespective of their skill levels
- Enhancing physical capacities and fundamental body & sports skills.
- Cultivating social & collaboration skills to work with each other in harmony.
- As a remedial and therapeutic measure among adults
Value created by games?
Spatial ability is one the keys to intelligence and doesn’t find recognition in standardized tests and conventional schooling education or talent searches.
Spatially gifted children, adolescents and adults show greater interest than most in working with their hands, manipulating and tinkering with tangible things.
Spatial ability helps to structure our memory, ability to sense space and time vis-à-vis develop a stronger sense of intuition and sensory perception, creativity, apart from an ability to learn new tasks better and faster.
Proprioception? The Sense Within
Knowing where our bodies are in space is critical for the control of our movements and for our sense of self.
The ability to sense our bodies is critical for telling us where we are in our surroundings as well as for the execution of normal movements. Sometimes referred to as the “sixth sense,” proprioception includes the sense of position and movement of our limbs, the senses of muscle force and effort, and the sense of balance. These senses, triggered by our everyday activities, allow us to carry out our tasks successfully, without thinking;
Summary: Why adults need to play in the outdoors
The importance of play for children is well documented. Now researchers are turning their attention to its possible benefits for adults. What they’re finding is that play isn’t just about goofing off; it can also be an important means of reducing stress and contributing to overall well-being.
Play offers a sense of engagement and pleasure, takes the player out of a sense of time and space, and the experience of doing it is more important than the outcome.
The researchers identified four types of playful adults:
- those who outwardly enjoy fooling around with friends, colleagues, relatives and acquaintances;
- those who are generally light-hearted and not preoccupied by the future consequences of their behaviour;
- those who play with thoughts and ideas;
- and those who are whimsical, exhibiting interest in strange and unusual things and are amused by small, everyday observations.
With research to back, Play is considered therapeutic, found to speed up learning, enhance productivity and increase job satisfaction; and at home, playing together can enhance bonding and communication.
Playful adults have the ability to transform everyday situations, even stressful ones, into something entertaining, Studies have found highly playful young adults – those who rated themselves high on personality characteristics such as being spontaneous or energetic, or open to “clowning around” – reported less stress in their lives and possessed better coping skills. Perhaps they have these attributes because they are better able to keep stress in perspective.
How to play
Here are some helpful tips to encourage play:
Establish regular play times. It may be for twenty minutes daily or few hours during the weekend. See what works for you. Try to clear your schedule for the afternoon or evening.
Give play time your undivided attention. Turn off the TV and your cell phone and make time to play without distraction.
Get down to a child’s level. That may mean getting down on your knees or sitting on the floor. Match a child’s intensity during play—if a child is likely to be loud and energetic, be loud and energetic, too.
Embrace repetition. It may appear boring initially but with time and repetition, playing the same game over and over brings its own sense of security and comfort and will be ready to move on the next game in due time.
Let your group take the lead. Become part of their game rather than trying to dictate the play. Let your group call the shots, make the rules, and determine the pace of play. Ask questions and follow along—you’ll likely get drawn into imaginative new worlds that are fun for you, too.
Don’t force play or try to prolong a game. The best way to teach a new skill is to show someone how something works, then step back and give them a chance to try it. When your colleague or friend grows tired of an activity, it’s time to move on to something new.
Make play appropriate and safe. If a game is too hard or too easy, it loses its sense of pleasure and fun. Nothing ruins a fun game faster than a person getting hurt.
Creating opportunities to play
Host a regular game with friends or family.
Arrange a day or evening out with work colleagues
Schedule time in a park or at the beach to throw a Frisbee
Play with a pet.
Surround yourself with playful people to help you loosen up and are more likely to support your efforts to play and have fun.
Play with children. Goofing around with kids helps you experience the joy of play from their perspective.