The Power of Play



Play is for everyone, of all ages. You know why? Because it’s fun. And because it’s good for your health and well-being.

Play is good for stress. It can trigger the release of endorphins, a feel-good body chemical that promotes an overall sense of well-being.

Play can make you smarter. Some games challenge the brain, and can improve memory and problem solving (try chess, puzzles, crosswords, sudoku).

Play can charge your body. Getting moving or stimulating reflexes can stimulate your mind and energize your body (hello ping pong, cornhole and sports, of course).

Play can build relationships and teamwork. Laughing and having fun with others can break the ice, foster trust and build compassion and empathy.


Adulting can be serious stuff, so be intentional about play. Make time for hobbies, get outside (yes, even in Arizona summer you can find a time of day or way), play games or schedule downtime with friends. Just do it.


And while we’re on the upbeat topic of play, did you know that optimists have better heart health (1) and live longer (2)? AND that there is a proven way to increase your optimism?


Try an exercise called “Best Possible Self” (BPS). Find a worksheet to guide you in our Toolkit.


Now let’s fill that glass half full, and then go play.









1.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2752100


2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190826150700.htm#:~:text=Summary%3A-,After%20decades%20of%20research%2C%20a%20new%20study%20links%20optimism%20and,to%20age%2085%20or%20older.