Quick, what’s completely pointless and absolutely indispensable? Why it’s play, of course!
Sadly, we don’t get nearly enough play time. The lack of which wrecks havoc on our health and relationships. “We are pushed from play, shamed into rejecting it by a culture that doesn’t understand the human need for it,” according to Stuart Brown, M.D., author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain. “Playing is seen as a childish activity not done in the adult world.”
Play For No Reason
The remedy needn’t involve hopscotch or skipping rope (unless that’s your thing). Brown defines play as any apparently purposeless, inherently attractive endeavor that makes us forget time and ourselves. Reading Shakespeare qualifies. Same goes for knitting a scarf, studying algebra, or listening to Merle Haggard. If you love it and lose yourself in it, it’s playtime.
“To really regain play in your life, you will need to take a journey back into the past to help create avenues for play that work for you in the present,” says Brown. In other words, think back to something that gave you that goofy, happy feeling when you were young, and dream up ways to re-create that feeling now.
Go ahead…I double dare you.