The Benefits of Playing for Adults - (2023)

Just because we're adults doesn't mean we have to make life all about work. Learn how gaming can benefit your relationships, your job and your mood.

The Benefits of Playing for Adults - (1)

The importance of adult play

In our busy modern lives, many of us are so focused on work and family commitments that we never seem to have time for pure fun. Sometime between childhood and adulthood we stopped playing. When we allow ourselves some free time, we tend to linger in front of the television or computer rather than engage in fun, rejuvenating games like we did as children. But play isn't just important for children; It can also be an important source of relaxation and stimulation for adults.

Playing with your romantic partner, friends, co-workers, pets, and kids is a safe (and fun) way to boost your imagination, creativity, problem-solving skills, and emotional well-being. Adult play is a time to forget work and commitments and be social in unstructured, creative ways.

Play could be as simple as fooling around with friends, sharing jokes with a co-worker, throwing frisbees on the beach, dressing up with the kids for Halloween, building a snowman in the backyard, playing fetch with a dog, performing charades at a party , or going for a bike ride with your spouse with no destination in mind. The activity doesn't have to have any purpose other than having fun and enjoying yourself. By allowing yourself to play with the joyful indulgence of childhood, you can reap oodles of health benefits throughout life.

The advantages of the game

While play is crucial to a child's development, it is also beneficial for people of all ages. Play can add joy to life, reduce stress, accelerate learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. Gaming can also make work more productive and enjoyable.

[Read: Cultivating Happiness]

You can play alone or with a pet, but for greater benefits, the game should involve at least one other person, away from the sensory overload of electronic devices.

Play helps:

Reduce stress.Play is fun and can trigger the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote general well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

improve brain function.Playing chess, solving puzzles, or doing other fun activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function. Social interaction while playing with family and friends can also help ward off stress and depression.

Stimulate the mind and increase creativity.Young children often learn best when they play - a principle that also applies to adults. You learn a new task better when it's fun and you're in a relaxed and playful mood. Play can also stimulate your imagination and help you adapt and solve problems.

Improve relationships and your connection with others.Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others. The game does not have to involve a specific activity; it can also be a state of mind. Developing a playful nature can help you relax in stressful situations, break the ice with strangers, make new friends, and develop new business relationships.

Keep yourself young and energetic.In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don't stop playing because we get old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Gaming can increase your energy and vitality, and even improve your resistance to disease, which helps you perform at your best.

game and relationships

Gaming is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. Playing together brings joy, vitality and resilience to relationships. Play can also heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Through regular play we learn to trust each other and feel safe.

Trust allows us to work together, open to intimacy, and try new things. By making a conscious effort to incorporate more humor and play into your daily interactions, you can improve the quality of your romantic relationships—as well as your connections with coworkers, family members, and friends.

Play helps to develop and improve social skills.Social skills are learned through the give and take of play. During childhood play, children learn about verbal communication, body language, boundaries, cooperation, and teamwork. As adults, you continue to hone these skills through play and playful communication.

(Video) The Importance of Play

The game teaches cooperation with others.Play is a powerful catalyst for positive socialization. Through play, children learn to “play well” with others – to work together, follow mutually agreed rules, and socialize in groups. As an adult, you can continue to use the game to break down barriers and improve your relationships with others.

[ Read: Tips On Building A Healthy Relationship ]

Play can heal emotional wounds.When you play together as adults, you engage in the very same behavioral patterns that positively mold children's brains. The same playful behaviors that predict emotional health in children can also lead to positive changes in adults. For example, when an emotionally insecure person plays with a secure partner, it can help replace negative beliefs and behaviors with positive assumptions and actions.

Solve relationship problems with humor and play

Play and laughter play an essential role in building strong, healthy relationships by bringing people closer together, creating positive bonds, and resolving conflicts and disagreements. in new relationships,Play and humor can be powerful toolsnot only to attract the other person, but also to overcome any awkwardness or embarrassment that may arise during the dating and meeting process. Flirting is a prime example of how play and humor are used in adult interactions. In longer-term relationships, gaming can keep your connection exciting, fresh, and alive while deepening intimacy. It can also help you overcome differences and the little aggravations that can build up over time.

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The Benefits of Playing for Adults - (2)

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Play at work

Many dot-com companies have long recognized the connection between productivity and a pleasant work environment. Some encourage play and creativity by offering art or yoga classes, throwing regular parties, offering games like foosball or table tennis, or encouraging break-like breaks during the workday where employees can play and blow off steam. These companies know that more play at work leads to greater productivity, greater job satisfaction, greater morale, and fewer truants and staff turnover.

[Read: Finding The Right Career]

If you are lucky enough to work for such a company, embrace the culture; If your company lacks gaming ethics, you can always bring your own gaming flair during breaks and lunch breaks. Have a camera or sketchpad handy, and take creative breaks when you can. Joke with colleagues during the coffee break, relieve stress at lunch by tossing hoops, playing cards or solving word puzzles together. It can strengthen the bond with your colleagues and improve your work performance. For people with mundane jobs, maintaining a game feel can make a real difference in the workday by helping alleviate boredom.

(Video) The Importance of Play - Part 2

Increase productivity and innovation with games

Success at work does not depend on the time you work; it depends on the quality of your work. And the quality of your work depends heavily on your well-being.

Taking the time to replenish yourself through the game is one of the best ways you can help your career. If the project you're working on has a serious bug, take some time off to play and have a few laughs. Taking a break to play does much more than distract you from the problem. When you play, you activate your brain's creative side and silence your "inner editor," that psychological barrier that censors your thoughts and ideas. This can often help you see the problem in a new light and come up with new, creative solutions.

Play at work:

  • keeps you functional under stress.
  • refreshes body and mind.
  • promotes teamwork.
  • increases energy and prevents burnout.
  • promotes creativity and innovation.
  • helps you see problems in new ways.

Tips for managers and employers

It's tempting to think that the best way to deal with an ever-increasing workload is to get your employees to work longer and harder. However, without some recovery time, work is more likely to suffer and your employees to be chronically overwhelmed and burned out. Encouraging play, on the other hand, creates a more light-hearted work atmosphere, which in turn encourages employees to take more creative risks.

  • Provide opportunities for social interaction between employees.Host parties, put a basketball hoop in the parking lot, host a miniature golf tournament, host an office treasure hunt.
  • Encourage creative thinkingor simply lift the spirits of meetings by keeping tactile puzzles on the boardroom table.
  • Encourage employees to take regular breaks from their desks,and spend a few minutes doing a fun activity, like a word or number game.

Play with your kids

Rolling on the floor with your baby, or getting on your knees to play with a young child, is vital – both for your child's development and for your own health.

Play is essential to the development of children's social, emotional, cognitive and physical skills. In fact, far from being a waste of time or just a fun distraction, play is a time when your child often learns the most. Whether it's a toddler playing "cuckoo," a toddler playing sham games, or an older child playing a board game, play develops social skills, stimulates a child's imagination, and makes children more adjusted, smarter, and less stressed.

Play not only promotes your child's development, but also brings them closer together and strengthens the parent-child bond that lasts a lifetime.

How to play with your child

While children need time to play alone and with other children, it is also important to play with their parents. Here are some helpful tips to encourage gaming:

Establish regular game times.For example, it can be twenty minutes before dinner every night or every Saturday morning. Remember that this playtime together benefits both of you.

Give your child your undivided attention.Turn off the television and your cell phone and take time to play with your child undisturbed. Your undivided attention makes your child feel special.

Go to your child's level.This can mean getting on your knees or sitting on the floor. Adjust your child's intensity during play - if your child is loud and energetic, be loud and energetic too.

Accept the repetition.It may be boring for you, but not for your child. Children learn through repetition. Let your child play the same game over and over again. Your child will move on when they are ready.

Let your kids take the lead.Become part of their game instead of trying to dictate the game. Let your child lead the role-play, set the rules and set the pace of play. Ask questions and get involved - you're likely to be drawn into imaginative new worlds that you'll enjoy too.

Don't force a game or try to prolong a game.The best way to teach a new skill is to show kids how something works, then step back and give them a chance to try it. When your child gets tired of an activity, it's time to move on to something new.

Make the game age appropriate and consider safety.If a game is too hard or too easy, it loses its sense of joy and fun. Help your child find age-appropriate activities and understand all safety rules for play. Nothing ruins a fun game like a kid getting hurt.

how to play more

Incorporating more fun and games into your daily life can improve the quality of your relationships, as well as your mood and attitude. Even in the most difficult of times, making time to play or laugh can go a long way in making you feel better. It's true what they say:Laughter really is the best medicine. Laughter is good. And the positive feeling that comes from laughing and having fun stays with you even after the giggles have subsided. Play and laughter help you maintain a positive, optimistic attitude in difficult situations, disappointments, and losses.

(Video) This Is What Calms Me Down When I Feel Nervous

Unleash your playful side

It's never too late to develop your playful, humorous side. If you find yourself limiting your playfulness, you may feel self-conscious and concerned about how you look and sound to others when you're trying to be light-hearted. Fear of rejection, embarrassment, or ridicule when trying to be playful is understandable. Adults often worry that being playful will label them as childish. But what's wrong with that? Children are incredibly creative, inventive and constantly learning. Wouldn't you like to be childish if that's the definition? Remember that as a child you were naturally playful; They didn't care about the reactions of others. You can reclaim your inner child by putting it asideregular, quality playtime. The more you play, joke and laugh - the easier it gets.

For example, try clearing your schedule for an afternoon or evening, and then turn off your phone, TV, computer, and other devices. Give yourself permission to do whatever you want in the time allotted to you. Be spontaneous, let go of your inhibitions and try something fun, maybe something you haven't done since you were a child. And enjoy the variety.

create play opportunities

Host a regular gameNight out with friends or family.

Arrange evenings with work colleagues:Bowling, playing pool, playing mini golf or singing karaoke.

Schedule time at a parkor on the beach to throw a frisbee or fly a kite with friends.

Play with a pet. Puppies in particular are very willing playmates. If you don't have your own, borrow one from your local animal shelter.

Surround yourself with playful people.They will help you loosen up and rather support your efforts to play and have fun.

Joking with strangersat a bus stop or in a checkout line. Time flies faster and maybe even new friendships develop.

Visit a magic shopand learn a few tricks. Or invest in art supplies, construction toys or science kits and create something new.

Play with children.Fooling around with kids helps you experience the joy of play from their perspective. If you don't have young children, set up a playtime with your grandchildren, nephews, nieces, or other young relatives.

Authors: Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Jennifer Shubin

    • references

      Proyer, R.T., Tandler, N., & Brauer, K. (2019). Chapter 2 - Playfulness and Creativity: A Selective Review. In S.R. Luria, J. Baer & J.C. Kaufman (eds.), Creativity and Humor (pp. 43-60). Academic Press.

      Proyer, R.T. (2012). Examining playfulness in adults: testing its correlates with personality, positive psychological functioning, goal-seeking, and multi-method-assessed resourcefulness. Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling, 54(2), 103–127.

      Proyer, R.T. (2013). The well-being of playful adults: Adult playfulness, subjective well-being, physical well-being, and the pursuit of pleasurable activities. The European Journal of Humor Research, 1(1), 84-98.

      (Video) Why Adults Need Play | Our Healthy Vlog Lifestyle

      Guitard, P., Ferland, F. & Dutil, É. (2005). For a better understanding of adult playfulness. OTJR: Work, Participation and Health, 25(1), 9-22.

    Last updated: December 5, 2022


    Why is playing important for adults? ›

    Play for adults is critical in our stressful go-go-go lives. Play has been shown to release endorphins, improve brain functionality, and stimulate creativity. And it can even help to keep us young and feeling energetic. Studies show that play improves memory and stimulates the growth of the cerebral cortex.

    What are the 10 benefits of playing? ›

    Based on that research here are ten reasons why you should make play a part of your everyday life.
    • Play Strengthens You.
    • Play Makes You Smarter.
    • Play Helps You Solve Problems.
    • Play Boosts Creativity.
    • Play Reduces Stress.
    • Play Helps You Make Friends.
    • Play Enhances Attractiveness.
    • Play Builds Resilience.

    What are the benefits of playing? ›

    Play improves the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and young people. Through play, children learn about the world and themselves. They also learn skills they need for study, work and relationships such as: confidence.

    What are the benefits of sports for adults? ›

    The Mental Benefits Of Sport
    • Sport improves your mood. ...
    • Sport improves your concentration. ...
    • Sport reduces stress and depression. ...
    • Sport improves sleep habits. ...
    • Sport helps you maintain a healthy weight. ...
    • Sport boosts your self-confidence. ...
    • Sport has been linked to leadership traits. ...
    • Mental benefits of sport for older people.
    May 7, 2021

    Why is play important for mental health in adults? ›

    Play helps reduce stress levels

    When you're enjoying fun moments and laughing together, your body releases endorphins that promote a feeling of well-being.

    Why play is important at any age? ›

    While play is crucial for a child's development, it is also beneficial for people of all ages. Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, supercharge learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable.

    What does playing do for the brain? ›

    Play is crucial for brain development because it gives babies and young children opportunities to experience new things and practice existing skills, which strengthens networks of brain connections.

    Why Playing every day is important? ›

    Play promotes healthy development and critical thinking skills. It reinforces memory, helps children understand cause and effect, and, according to Mendez, helps children explore the world — and their role in it. “Young children learn how things fit together through play.

    What are the emotional benefits of play? ›

    Emotional development: Especially in social and guided play, children learn self-regulation as they follow norms and pay attention while experiencing feelings such as anticipation or frustration. Play also teaches children how to set and change rules, and how to decide when to lead and when to follow.

    What three important things you have learn from playing? ›

    Researchers and educators across the world have found that play can help enrich learning and develop key skills such as inquiry, expression, experimentation, and teamwork.

    What are 3 benefits of exercise for adults? ›

    Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.

    How can you benefit from your physical fitness in your adult life? ›

    Regular physical activity provides important health benefits for chronic disease prevention.
    • Brain Health. – Reduces risks of developing dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) and reduces risk of depression.
    • Heart Health. ...
    • Cancer Prevention. ...
    • Healthy Weight. ...
    • Bone Strength. ...
    • Balance and Coordination.

    How much physical activity do adults need? ›

    Each week adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity, according to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. We know 150 minutes of physical activity each week sounds like a lot, but you don't have to do it all at once.

    Can adults benefit from play therapy? ›

    Adults can benefit from play therapy as it provides a safe environment for dealing with intense issues. Play therapy utilizes music, art, sand tray, and numerous other techniques. Further research regarding play therapy with adults is highly recommended.

    Do you think adults need time to play? ›

    For children and adults alike, play creates a sense of community. Engaging in adult play can increase social well-being and intimacy in relationships. Play relieves stress and can have a positive impact on mental health. Adults need time to play just as much as children do.

    Why adults should embrace their playfulness? ›

    Adults who demonstrate more playful personality traits are more motivated, creative and spontaneous. There have even been links between people with more playful characteristics having lower blood pressure.

    Do adults learn through play? ›

    Playing is just as important for adults as it is for children. Among its many benefits, adult play can boost your creativity, sharpen your sense of humor, and help you cope better with stress. We all know that play is important for children.

    Why is play important quote? ›

    Play is our brain's favorite way of learning.” -Diane Ackerman. “Whoever wants to understand much must play much.” -Gottfried Benn. “The true object of all human life is play.” -G. K. Chesterton. “Children need the freedom and time to play.

    What activity stimulates the brain the most? ›

    Get mental stimulation

    Any mentally stimulating activity should help to build up your brain. Read, take courses, try "mental gymnastics," such as word puzzles or math problems Experiment with things that require manual dexterity as well as mental effort, such as drawing, painting, and other crafts.

    What exercise helps the brain the most? ›

    Aerobic exercise, like running and swimming, appears to be best for brain health. That's because it increases a person's heart rate, “which means the body pumps more blood to the brain,” says Okonkwo. But strength training, like weight lifting, may also bring benefits to the brain by increasing heart rate.

    How can adults play more? ›

    Use unscheduled time to be creative, to daydream, reflect and decompress. Appreciate playtime – whether it's alone or with other adults or children. Smile and laugh often throughout the day. Try new things and experience the unexpected.

    How long should you play a day? ›

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours per day of screen-based entertainment. Parents should create a “media plan” that dictates what hours a child can enjoy video games without affecting behavior and homework, Radesky says.

    How does play build self esteem? ›

    Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

    Free play also encourages children to develop skills that build self-confidence, such as conflict resolution and imaginative dramatic play. Social development with children—and the ability to play on their own—are also important factors in building self-confidence.

    What are the six positive emotions? ›

    Fredrickson identified the following as the ten most common positive emotions: Joy, Gratitude, Serenity, Interest, Hope, Pride, Amusement, Inspiration, Awe, Love.

    How does play benefit social development? ›

    Social play helps to develop emotional intelligence and empathy. which are just as important in later life as academic intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the key to forming good relationships with others, relationships which are vital to both personal and professional success later in life.

    What other things does playing teach us? ›

    Students can find a sense of belonging and accomplishment through individual sports and team dynamics. Sports are symbolic of life. Life requires teamwork, discipline, resiliency, respect, compassion, and character. Sports can develop those skills to apply on the playing field and in their life.

    What skills do you learn through play? ›

    7 Essential Life Skills Children Develop Through Play
    • Problem-Solving Skills. ...
    • Motor Development Skills. ...
    • Language Skills. ...
    • Spatial Skills and Coordination. ...
    • Communication and Negotiation Skills. ...
    • Creative Skills. ...
    • Pre-Reading and Reading Comprehension Skills.
    Mar 25, 2020

    What are the six attributes of play? ›

    Characteristics of play
    • Active. During active play, children use their bodies and minds in play by interacting with the environment, materials and other people.
    • Adventurous and risky. ...
    • Communicative. ...
    • Enjoyable. ...
    • Involved. ...
    • Meaningful. ...
    • Sociable and interactive. ...
    • Symbolic.
    Dec 8, 2015

    What sports do you think that adults and old age must do and why? ›

    Yoga not only improves your physical health, it also helps reduce stress due to the relaxing meditating properties of the various movements and stretches. It's a low-impact exercise that can improve your core balance, strength, respiratory flow and muscle flexibility, especially when doing it multiple times a week.

    What is the most popular sport for adults? ›

    Top-10 List of the World's Most Popular Sports
    rankSportEstimated Fans
    1.Soccer / Association Football3.5 Billion
    2.Cricket2.5 Billion
    3.Field Hockey2 Billion
    4.Tennis1 Billion
    6 more rows
    Dec 7, 2022


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