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How Can Playing Help Us Heal?    

How Can Playing Help Us Heal?

So, How Can Playing Help Us Heal?

Playing serves a number of important functions in child development. Play, specifically Play Therapy, has been used for years as a psychotherapeutic approach to help children explore their lives and freely express repressed thoughts and emotions. It encourages children to learn to express themselves in healthier ways, develop more respect and empathy, and discover new positive ways to solve problems.

Although not all of us had childhoods that allowed us to play all day, playing as an adult can bring us some of those benefits back! The benefits of playing doesn’t stop when childhood ends. By connecting to our inner-child and incorporating more play into our routines, we can learn to do the same as adults!

Playing:

  • improves the adult brain’s cognitive flexibility and memory.
  • helps us to destress.
  • brings more positivity into our lives.
  • develops creative thinking, problem solving, and innovation.

Play continues to help us apart from our designated “play time” as well. While play seems like the antithesis of work, fostering a sense of playfulness and bringing that to our work can be extremely helpful. Ongoing research shows us that play can enhance job satisfaction, increase our creativity, and help us deal with workplace stress.

Artwork by FISK

Flow State

We’ve been talking to our friends a lot recently about how to stay positive during these difficult times. One of our favorite ways to do that, is to engage in activities that bring us into that “flow state”.

Brought to us in the 90s, the flow state was brought on the scene by positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, as an answer to the never ending questions keeping philosophers and teenage girls alike, up at night: “What Truly Makes Us Happy?”

His answer was the state of flow.

That optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best. That feeling where, under the right conditions, we become fully immersed in whatever we are doing. That feeling of being in the zone. Playing helps us achieve that. Engaging in activities that bring us into this state are similar to playing, in that they go beyond the temporary benefits of a blissful moment, and contribute to a long lasting sense of fulfillment and wellbeing.