Do you long to reconnect with your inner child and enjoy playfulness again? Many people lose the gift of playing in the frenzy of adult life. The good news is that you can regain the boundless joy of childhood and still be a responsible adult.
There’s something magical about the playfulness of a child. Every day is a new adventure overflowing with fun and laughter. They don’t take themselves too seriously and can always find a reason to play and be happy.
Reflect on your childhood memories, and consider how much your worldview has changed. Your world was limited to a tight circle of family and friends. You didn’t have to worry about adult problems, and your main goal was to have fun. Perhaps the only stressors you had were school and arguing with siblings and playmates.
Ten Reasons to Practice Playfulness in Adulthood
Many literary scholars believe that the central theme of Alice in Wonderland is a loss of childhood wonder. Alice magically travels from the blissful world of childhood into the mysterious and cynical world of adulthood. It’s a parallel universe of contradictions with very little amusement.
Do children know the secret to live their best life with joy and gratitude? Once you’ve reconnected with your childhood self, you’ll find you’ve always known how to do it. Try these ten reasons to practice playfulness as an adult to get you started.
1. Playfulness Reduces Your Stress Levels
There’s no such thing as enjoying a stress-free life, but you can do something to minimize the pressure. An article published by the Mayo Clinic warns that chronic stress can put your entire well-being at risk. You can benefit physically, mentally, and emotionally when you learn how to manage your tension effectively.
The next time you feel tense with stress, try doing something playful. It’s challenging to ruminate when you’re having a pillow fight with your partner. Let your inner child show you how to relax and be cheerful for a while.
2. Improves Your Relationships
Nobody likes to be around someone cranky and negative all the time. Such pessimism creates a dark cloud that dominates the atmosphere. People who take everything and themselves too seriously usually have troubled relationships.
When you learn to use playfulness again, you’ll notice an improvement at home and work. A good sense of humor can put everyone. Notice how others tend to congregate around those who are jovial and smile a lot.
According to a study published by the American Journal of Play, many people are attracted by a playful attitude. Appropriate humor and a relaxed mindset can also benefit you at work. While you must maintain professionalism and an excellent work ethic, some fun can boost everyone’s day.
One of the closest relationships you can improve is with your children. They’ll never forget the times you spent playing with them. Quality time makes a difference, whether it’s a sport, video game, or just goofing around.
3. Playing Boosts Your Creativity
Your inner child will permanently be attached to crayons, fingerpaints, and making up stories and games. Some of the creative skills you developed as a child have served you well as an adult. Most jobs require creative problem solving and using your imagination.
You can tap into your creative genius if you maintain playfulness in your routine. You don’t have to be another Picasso to enjoy drawing and painting. A recent trend in stress relief is adult coloring books as a way to connect with your inner child.
The best way to learn how to play again is to spend time with children, whether your own or your family. Instead of plopping in front of the tv for another depressing news hour, play a board game with the kids. Draw and color pictures together and display them on the refrigerator.
4. Playfulness Revitalizes Your Energy
Yes, the adult world requires heavy responsibilities that can be overwhelming. When you’re trying to juggle family and work duties, it’s no wonder you’re exhausted. Your mind doesn’t get a break, and you feel drained no matter how much you sleep.
If you want to revitalize and energize your body, try using some playfulness. Try outdoor games that get your body moving. The healing touch of nature and physical activity may give you needed energy.
5. Playing Improves Your Brain Function
Your inner child can quickly get bored and restless, and your brain craves a challenge. Beat the doldrums and exercise your brain cells with stimulating activities like crossword puzzles, find-a-word, sudokus, and other mind teasers. Find a colorful jigsaw puzzle and work on it alone or with your family.
An article published by Harvard Medical School discusses the possible benefits of brain games for increased cognition and memory skills. Some studies note the positive link between playing games and preventing memory loss. It can be anything that challenges you to think critically and remember.
6. Playfulness Enhances Your Communication Skills
Have you ever eavesdropped on a couple or a group of youngsters playing? You’ll notice how they communicate the entire time according to their age and maturity. They often make up the rules and keep a running dialogue when pretending.
Children use play and make-believe to teach them how to express themselves more clearly and effectively. Channel your inner child and use some playfulness to communicate. It may help you have more confidence if you must speak in front of a group.
Find some games or puzzles that feature writing or building your vocabulary. Many of these are so enjoyable that the kids can play and don’t realize they’re learning something. Games that require groups to discuss possible ideas and answers are ideal for boosting your conversational skills.
7. Playfulness Increases Your Self-Confidence
How do you feel when you’ve made the winning move on a board game? Although you know it’s just for fun, it gives you a kick of confidence. Maybe you have the same sense of joy when you finally solve a word puzzle.
Even minor victories can encourage you to keep going and conquer bigger things. In real life, celebrating achievements gives you the nerve to set higher goals. You know you can be a winner because you’ve done it in the past.
Participating in sports is a great way to practice setting and achieving goals. It also provides some friendly competition that urges you to do your best. The more you practice, the more your skills improve, and you’ll also notice that you’re having fun simultaneously.
8. Playing Promotes Better Sleep
For most people, occasional sleepless nights are expected. However, chronic insomnia may be a symptom of an underlying physical or mental condition. Either way, you’re in a brain fog the next day and feel miserable.
Children who usually stall at bedtime are soon fast asleep after a long day of fun activities. They don’t stop to think that active play is an ideal exercise for their body. As an adult, walking, swimming, and other activities can make you pleasantly tired, so you’ll sleep better.
Another light-hearted routine you can adopt is reading to your youngsters before bedtime. Choose an age-appropriate book and use an animated voice for each character. Not only will this time of gentle playfulness relax their little minds, but it will also relax yours.
9. You Release Your Inner Child, Increasing Your Empathy
While many kids are tenderhearted at a young age, genuine empathy is a learned skill. They learn it from parents, teachers, and other significant adults who model it correctly. However, they practice what they learn through playing with other children.
For example, Michael strikes out in the ballgame during recess at school, and his friend Joey offers a few encouraging words. Joey knows what it feels like to lose and how encouragement from others helps him. These simple impressions are the beginning of showing empathy as an adult.
You’ll never stop learning, and engaging in leisure activities and light-hearted fun teaches you about considering others. It’s easier to get to know people in a casual atmosphere. Hone your active listening skills when the conversation isn’t so heavy, and you can laugh a little.
10. Encourages Mindful Living
Trust, faith, and living in the moment are natural gifts of your childhood. Unfortunately, negative experiences and toxic people may have jaded your perception as you mature. Your adult mindset may ruminate about the past and worry about the future.
It’s almost impossible to fuss and worry while playing an exciting game. Yielding to your inner child can help you focus on the here and now. Practicing mindful living can benefit every facet of your life.
Final Thoughts on Reasons to Practice Playfulness, Even in Adulthood
Life is too short to spend every day in a mind-numbing rush. The kindest gift you can give yourself is a merry heart and some playfulness. Once you’ve learned how to balance work and play, you’ll never have to worry about having a dull life.