5 reasons to play more!

5 reasons to play more!

5 Reasons to Increase Your Play in 2013

Published on January 27, 2013 by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. 

Submerged in the responsibilities of life, the seriousness of world affairs, and an ever-growing to-do list, we often forget to PLAY. Animals, on the other hand, continue to play throughout their adult lives!  We may believe that play is somehow no longer appropriate or cast it aside as a frivolous waste of time. Research suggests, however, that play is essential to our well-being, creativity, and health.

1. It Boosts Our Creativity Mark Beeman, Ph.D., at Northwestern University found that people have an easier time solving a puzzle after watching a short comedy clip. Having fun, perhaps by easing tension, may be facilitating neuronal connections helpful for greater mental flexibility and creativity. In another brain imaging study, Dr. Beeman found that activation of pleasure centers in the brain predicted successful puzzle-solving. These findings suggesting that well-being helps us think more creatively and could potentially help us resolve challenging situations. 

2. It Helps Us Think Outside the Box Barbara Fredrikson, Ph.D., of the University of Chapel Hill – North Carolina found that positive emotions increase our cognitive resources by expanding our visual attention as well as our social resources by improving our ability to connect with others. In other words, play may be a way of getting literally “unstuck.” Taking a break and engaging in a totally frivolous act of fun can help loosen our tension and worries and help us think of different ways to engage with a challenging situation.

Stuart Brown, M.D. describes in his book Play how the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) found it difficult to find young engineers of the same caliber as those that had retired. After interviewing the engineers that had retired, they came to the realization that the retirees had engaged in various forms of analytic play that had resulted in their brilliant performance as engineers. Today, JPL interviews include questions about the type of play that applicants engaged in during their youth…

…keep reading the FULL ARTICLE – HERE

And if you want to learn more about having fun in your life, especially in the context of reducing stress, check out this great YouTube clip HERE and consider this great upcoming workshop – HERE