When we think of people playing, it’s always children that come to mind. Studies have shown how
beneficial it is for kids to play because helps a growing mind learn about cooperation, critical thinking,
Yet adults playing is often frowned upon by society. But once we are grown, do we stop learning and
developing? Of course not! The benefits of playing for adults are just as numerous and important as it is
for kids.
Mood enhancer: When we paint, carve wood, garden, or simply goof around with friends, endorphins are
released in our brain. We feel more fulfilled because we honor ourselves by being true to ourselves.
Digging in the dirt or throwing the ball is a massive aid in rejuvenation, and keeps anxiety and depression
at bay. Those who are able to laugh during dark times navigate those bleak moments more effectively
than those who are constantly serious. It is very empowering to be able to laugh at your own misfortune
and come through it stronger and wiser. Partaking in our hobbies is very therapeutic as it relieves stress.
Intelligence builder: The fastest way we learn about our world is through playing. Our memories are
wired to remember fun times with more clarity and detail. Playing can improve our creativity, strategy,
memory, problem solving, and focus.
Roleplaying is a very powerful learning tool. By making up situations for fun, we are unknowingly
practicing for the real events in life. When we are up against the wizard, we can attempt to reason with
him or fight him. When we practice reasoning with a character, we hone our skills in problem analysis,
empathy, active listening, and compromising. When we “fight” the wizard, we learn how to strategize,
make decisions quickly, work as a team and delegate the right tasks for those with the right skills.
These skills carried over into the real world can achieve negotiating a pay raise from your boss or a
successful presentation. You’d be surprised how many articulated, and fully functioning adults attribute
their social and work skills to Dungeons and Dragons. Most of us just don’t include Magic Missile under
their resume skills.
Physical: Active recreation such as sports, climbing trees, or swimming help improve coordination,
balance, flexibility, motor skills, and overall physical health. Exercise itself is a great mood booster and
when we are focused on having fun we don’t notice the tiredness as much.
Play is very individual for each of us. Some people are more into mental stimulation such as chess,
creating art or puzzles. Some enjoy being active. It can be solo when we entertain ourselves or it can
include other people or pets. Sometimes there is a goal in mind like in sports or gardening. And
sometimes its purely spontaneous like a good frolic in the forest. What’s important is that we make the
time to experience this joy.
Many people feel like they don’t have the time. Hard work is a great thing as high productivity leads to
accomplishments and great results. But when we do nothing but work, that’s when the depression and
frustration sets in. When all we do is play, nothing gets accomplished. We need to achieve a balance.
Work hard and play hard is a good motto for many. Time can be found or created for those who are
The best solution for many, is to cut down on television time. Most people get home from work and plop
themselves in front of a screen and sort of just turn themselves off for a moment. Now I love