21 STEPS TO YOUR MOST CREATIVE SELF
This is the 8th installment in my series 21 Steps To Your Most Creative Self.
Today most of us are focused on work and commitments. In our culture, playing is often thought as wasting time – it is often looked down on as there are no real goals (except to have fun!) Play is a time to forget about work and all those pesky commitments. It can be a time to be social without structure and be creative at the same time. When we play, there is no goal in mind, except to have fun.
What is play? It has been defined as taking part in an in activity for enjoyment and recreation instead of for a practical purpose.
There are many benefits to play. It:
Relieves stress – play often triggers endorphins which gives one the sense of well-being.
Stimulates your mind – people tend to learn better than they are having fun and when they are relaxed.
Improves learning skills – playing chess or putting together puzzles are things that challenge the brain and will improve memory.
Keeps you young
Teaches children social skills and cooperation with others – something adults can learn too.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw
I believe a little bit of play will go a long way – but what can we do for play?
Most of us don’t have access to a trampoline bridge.
Most of us don’t work in offices that have slides.
But, most of us have access to a playground. When was the last time you played on a swing?
Other things to do:
Learn a card trick
Have a game night with friends
Play miniature golf
Play with a dog – if you don’t have one, many rescue groups need dog walkers. While you are at it – have a conversation with the dog.
Find a child to play with – play a “pretend” game – remember those? Or play Follow the Leader or Hide and Seek (I play Hide and Seek with my dogs!)
Put on music and dance
Put together a puzzle
Make a collage
Get a coloring book
Research shows play helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Playing a musical instrument or playing checkers is helpful.
Who doesn’t play? Mass murderers – studies have shown.
Playing helps us relax, it takes us away from the “real” world. Through playing, we can be anything, an explorer, a rule, a time traveler – the list goes on. It helps remove the limits to what we believe is possible.
What do you do for play? I’d like to know!
“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous amount of adventure and a love of play.” Henri Matisse
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The true object of all human life is play.” G.K. Chesterton
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by intellect but by the play instinct.” Carl Jung
“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.” Abraham Maslow
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C.S. Lewis (which I recently did rereading Alice in Wonderland and Aesop’s Fables)