A great quote from George Bernard Shaw goes as, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” This depicts the benefits of play for adults. Yes, play is not just important for children, but is also essential for adults and it works as a primary source of relaxation for them. In the following array of the article, we will take a look at some of the health benefits of play for adults.
7 Reasons Why Play is Important For Adults
Play is recognized for the benefits that it offers to physical health and emotional well-being.(1) Play for adults is highly essential in our life to let go of stress away and to improve our overall wellbeing. It is found that play releases endorphins or the feel-good hormones, improves the functionality of our brain, and stimulates activity and creativity. Moreover, it also helps in keeping us feeling energized and young. Let us explore more about this.
Play Helps In Relieving Stress
One of the most important health benefits of play for adults is that it helps in relieving stress. Play releases endorphin hormones, which can relieve pain and promote an overall sense of well-being.
According to a study it was found that highly playful young adults who rated themselves high on special personality characteristics like being energetic or spontaneous, had reported fewer levels of stress in their lives and possessed better skills to cope with stress.(2) So, somehow play is great for your stress levels.
It Improves Memory And Brain Function
Play has another important benefit and that is it improves the function of the brain. One can prevent memory problems and improve brain function by playing certain games like chess and puzzles that challenge the brain. Moreover, it can also help reduce the symptoms of depression.
Several studies suggest that doing puzzles or playing brain-challenging games helps in maintaining memory and improving thinking skills.(3)
Play Stimulates The Mind And Boosts Activity And Creativity
Play at work makes you more creative and increases productivity.(4) Play is also known to make one more productive. It stimulates the mind and enhances activity. Many companies, including Google, have set up play stations and facilitate employees to collaborate and play together. This helps in improving team spirit and productivity.
Play Keeps You Feeling Young And Energetic
Want to feel more energetic and young? Stop worrying and start playing. Play can boost your energy level and can improve your disease resistance and also help in making you feel at your best. So, even if you have a lot of work to do, make some time to play.
Play Is Essential In Improving Social Skills
Another way play benefits adults is by helping them to develop and improve social skills, which is important in everyone’s life to remain mentally healthy and happy.
It is also known that when social skills are improved, productivity and learning in life improve. This in turn gets better results and achievements for individuals. This particular thing can be known from a study where researchers found that the social skills of a child in third grade lead to better academic performance or better grades in eighth grade.(5)
It Builds Relationship and Keeps You Happy
Play and humor aid in building healthy and strong relationships.(6) Play also helps in building relationships and fosters empathy, and compassion with others. Developing a playful nature might help you reduce stressful situations, especially while meeting with new people or trying to make new friends. This builds new personal and business relationships and helps you stay happy.
Play Helps To Heal Emotional Wounds
One more benefit of play for adults is that it helps to heal emotional wounds and leads to positive changes in their life, especially after any negative event that might have occurred in their life.(6)
Different Types Of Play That Can Work In Your Favor
Play can be of different types. Below we have listed a few types of play that can work in your favor if you are an adult and want to take the benefits of play.
Physical Or Locomotor Play
Physical or locomotor play is the most active form of play and brings much fun in life. Pilates, hiking, yoga, riding, surfing, mountain climbing, jumping, running, and chasing, all fall into this category of play.
Rough-and-tumble play is one of the best learning mediums for all of us. Tug-of-war, scavenger hunts, diving, batting, kickball, and dodgeball are some of the ways to actively play and these forms of play can help in developing emotional regulation and also emotional, cognitive, and physical mastery.
Object play includes building with Legos, snowball fights, playing and designing with Jenga blocks, and other games that include manipulation of objects and designing or building new things. This form of play is great for improving social, creative, and problem-solving skills. So, adults can try this form of play.
Ritual play is something where we create, design, and engage in various activities that bring people closer to achieving a common goal. Board games, chess, and other such activities with a set of rules, come under ritual play.
Another type of play that can benefit adults is imaginative play. Do you remember your childhood when you used to imagine different characters and situations and used to entertain yourself? Such imaginative play forms can also be played in adulthood. Storytelling, coloring, crafting, drawing, or acting, are some forms of imaginative play that adults can incorporate into their lives.
How Can Adults Create Opportunities To Play?
- Arrange night-outs with colleagues and enjoy playtime.
- Host a regular game time with family, maybe after dinner.
- Play with children in your society.
- Schedule a time at the park every weekend
- Surround yourself with jolly people
- Invest in art supplies and construction toys.
There are several ways play can benefit adults. So, it is a clear fact that play is not just for children, rather also for adults and even the elderly ones. Keeping into account all the possible health benefits of play, every adult should make time and find opportunities to indulge in different types of play and stay healthy, active, and happy.