You start out having all the time in the world to play as a kid. As you grow older, play is fused with socializing and networking activities, connected to goals of furthering your social and professional life. While this is a natural response, it isn’t necessarily the most effective or enjoyable way to live your life.
What is “Play”?
Play is “engaging in an activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” The main intention is to engage in an activity purely for enjoyment. The resulting benefits are just bonus:
1. Play Relieves Stress & Anxiety
Engaging in play releases endorphins, aka those feel good chemicals produced in your body. In a play state, you become more relaxed. You become more trusting. You are able to let go and let fear dissipate.
2. Play Promotes Creativity & Flow State
Fear often gets in the way of our creativity. As a kid, you were constantly coming up with silly and entertaining elaborate stories, games, and ideas. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to recreate this creativity and funnel it to other areas of your life in constructive ways? Tapping into your creativity is an essential skill for strategy and problem solving. When you are feeling creative, you can tap into your flow state, that joyful “state of heightened focus and immersion in activities.”
3. Live Boldly, Color Outside the Lines
It takes courage to get out of your comfort zone and just play, when the world might tell you otherwise. It reminds you to not take life so personally and to take a risk to color outside the lines in all areas of life. You might just feel inspired to ask for that raise, present your new idea, ask that person out, reach out and reconnect, or just life more boldly.
4. Create Authentic Connections
Whether it be a new friendship, partnership, or business connection, play can help you relax, connect and expand your relationship beyond traditional confines. When there are no expectations, you can show up authentically and honestly, open to help one another create something new to put out into the world.