Release your inner child – and relieve stress at the same time!
Remember when you were little and you played every single day? It was fun wasn’t it? Then you grew up and the boring stuff got in the way.
Today – 6 August – is Play Day, a day designed to highlight the importance of play for children’s lives, but play is good for you whatever your age.
A recent study revealed that indulging in childlike urges helped to perk up the mood of a fifth of Brits. Simple pleasures such as wheeling around on a shopping trolley help take us back to a more carefree time, when anything was possible.
However the same study revealed that at around age 26, our imagination begins to dwindle and we lose the ability to see things as a child would.
Why is playing good for you?
It can make you more creative. Half of all adults who took part in the above study said that being more imaginative makes them better at their job.
It’s good for the brain. Playing has been proven to stimulate nerve growth in portions of the brain that process emotions. Studies have also shown bears who play the most, also survive the longest!
Physical play delays mental decline as you age. Some research has shown that older people who regularly exercise are more likely to stay mentally focused. Doing puzzles and brain teasers also helps stave off mental decline.
It relieves stress. The main element to play is fun and this triggers the release of those feel-good chemical – endorphins. Not only will it help relieve stress but it can also make you feel less depressed.
Not sure how to play? Try these fun ideas:
- Play your favourite childhood board game out – make a night of it with friends and family
- Skip down the street – regardless of who is watching
- Get creative with pens, pencils, sticky tape and glue. It doesn’t matter if your creation isn’t worthy of the Tate, it’s the creating that’s fun.
- Try a fun new sporting activity such as rock climbing or trampolining
- Been raining? Get on your welly boots and splash in the puddles
- Watch the silliest, funniest film you can – laughter really is the best medicine
- Pop some bubble wrap
- Go on a swing – or even better a see-saw!