Play is a state of mind - rather than an activity.
It blew my mind when I learned why play is a state of mind, rather than an activity. I’ve always know this but to hear this from an expert in play, I got excited. Play is something I'm passionate about, and Stuart Brown's book "Play - how it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul" is a mut read for anyone who feels the same.
Why play is a state of mind - rather than an activity.
Play is a state of mind.
This means we can play at all ages, doing pretty much any activity we enjoy, as long as we are in a playful state of mind.
Don't you find being around playful people adds a lighter energy to your mood? (I know this is a leading question) I do. It affects me if people are heavy, serious all the time, and with no sense of humor.
Playfulness and humor is hugely underestimated. It builds relationships, it makes you more attractive as a person to be around, and t's good for your health and brain.
We are always being silly and singing silly, aweful songs here at home. My husband is brilliant and playing with the kids. Still, they are nearly all 3 teeneagers now.
2 tips to add a playful mindset to your favorite activity
Questions are great to activate your brain.
But the trick is, to ask a small question in a gentle way, repeatedly. And then wait for your subconscious to come up with the answer.
Questions to ask:
How can I make this fun?
What is it about this creative pursuit/activity that I love?
If questions aren't your thing, you can try with this affirmation:
It doesn't matter. It's only for fun.
Repeat it often, and feel the energy around what you're doing shift to more lightness.
Benefits of play
In his book, Stuart Brown shares benefits of play :
When we play, we are in our truest expression of our individuality.
Play lies at the core of creativity.
Play helps sculpt the brain.
Play creates new neural connections and tests them.
It creates an arena for social interaction and learning.
Play creates a low-risk format for finding and developing innate skills and talent (This is why I started painting)
...and all this goodness up to page 49 in the book!