Independent Online

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Playing is not just for children - research notes that playing as adults is one way to be happy

Stress and depression can also be reduced through social interaction with family and friends. Picture: DC studio/freepik

Stress and depression can also be reduced through social interaction with family and friends. Picture: DC studio/freepik

Published Aug 3, 2022

Share

Modern life is so hectic that many of us are so preoccupied with work and family obligations that we never seem to have time for pure fun.

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we stopped playing.

Story continues below Advertisement

With so much happening in our lives, we are almost always stressed; however a little bit of stress can really be beneficial. It's the body's natural response to daily stress that enables us to handle daily obstacles.

The danger lies in letting it consume you. "I'm a kid at heart" does not have to mean being childish, but rather tapping into our playful spirits.

Seeing children play is a joyful experience in itself and makes us nostalgic for a simpler time when life was all about having fun and enjoying ourselves.

I guarantee that most of our adult play time is spent unwinding in front of the television and possibly zoning out due to the number of stressors that we face on a daily basis. It's exhausting.

Nevertheless, play is not only important for children; it can also be a source of relaxation and stimulation for adults. Simply having fun with friends, sharing jokes with co-workers, and having a game night is sufficient. There doesn't have to be any purpose to the activity other than to have fun.

By allowing yourself to play , you can reap a plethora of health benefits throughout your life.The importance of play for children is well documented. Researchers are now focusing on the potential benefits for adults.

Story continues below Advertisement
Allow yourself to experience the simple pleasures of life. Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Research has found that playful individuals who assessed themselves on personality traits like being spontaneous or energetic or receptive to "clowning around" had stronger coping mechanisms and reported less stress in their life.

While another study notes that being a playful adult may also make us more attractive to the opposite sex.

The benefits of playing

Story continues below Advertisement

Playing keeps you feeling young and energetic. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

Relieve stress

There is nothing better than playing; it triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good hormones.

Story continues below Advertisement

Improve brain function

Taking part in fun activities that challenge the brain, such as playing chess or solving puzzles, can prevent memory problems and improve brain function.

Stress and depression can also be reduced through social interaction with family and friends. Last but not least, playing can stimulate the mind and boost creativity.

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.

Share