“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things… I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.” — Leo Buscaglia
With three kids, this one’s usually pretty easy for me. Someone wants to “play” something. And sometimes I resist. Maybe I want to rest, or I have work to do, or lawn cut, or a sink to fix, or … But, when I do play – it’s fun. Sometimes it’s relaxing play (a board game for example), and sometimes its active play (basketball game for example).
So, playing is fun, but what other benefits are there?
Be More Creative
Playing can make you think in new and creative ways. These creative skills apply not only to the games you play, but they roll over into other areas of your life. And that’s a good thing. You begin to think differently, and look at problems with a new set of lenses. You take risks during games, and you’ll be more willing to take risks in other areas of your life.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Apple Computers
Playing games creates laughter, and happiness (usually). If you played a game of hide and seek, or played a game of Yahtzee, would you not finish up and be happier than when you started? There is great joy in playing with others, and laughing together. One thing I do with my daughter is play the basketball game of “around the world” – where you shoot baskets from different points on the court until someone has made all of them. To mix things up, I like to name the locations (give them a country name for instance), or make up a funny name for her (a movie character for instance). She gets into this, and remembers these for some time afterward – and it’s fun for both of us.
One more benefit of play is reduced stress. Most games that are played for fun are games that leave us with a lower stress level than when we started. During play, we can forget about the worries of the world that we have. Through the pleasure we get from play, stress is removed from our bodies. And with less stress in our lives, we’ll make better choices in other areas as well.
Play a game, and you’ll feel energized. You might feel tired after a very active game, but you’ll still feel new energy in your body. The laughter and cameraderie will re-invigorate you. You’ll finish the game and be better suited to do the other things you have planned because of your increased energy levels.
Go out and play a game. Scrabble. Tag. Football. Ring around the rosie. Apples to Apples. Coloring book. Hopscotch. Monopoly. Paint by numbers. Ride the merry-go-round.
You’ll have fun, be more creative, and remove stress from your life! Sounds like a recipe for success.