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7 Psychological Benefits of Playfulness for Adults

https://nickwignall.com/benefits-of-playfulness/

nickwignall.com

7 Psychological Benefits of Playfulness for Adults
We all know how important play is for children, but the benefits of playfulness are arguably even bigger for adults. See, a common theme across most forms of adult unhappiness is rigidity. For all our fancy educational attainments, steady careers, and big vocabularies, we adults tend to get stuck in our ways, often to our own long-term detriment.

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Growing Up

Growing Up

As we get educated and become adults, we get tied up in our accomplishments and careers, following the generally accepted ways of living and behaving in society. We become stuck in a self-made routine and rigidity, taking life too seriously.

Ultimately, in this routine of work, responsibility and life's affairs, misery sets in, giving rise to boredom, depression, and stale relationships.

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Playfulness

Playfulness

Playfulness is the lesser-known and under-appreciated antidote to unhappiness, boredom, and stuckness of life.

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Trumping Anxiety

Trumping Anxiety

Playfulness outcompetes worry and anxiety.

Most people find it hard to worry less, so the way out is to find something playful to do, a distraction or a hobby, or get into mindfulness meditation.

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Playfulness And Freedom

Playfulness And Freedom

As we become less rigid and constrained, our playful nature builds new, unexplored connections and makes us see possibilities we missed before.

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Better Relations

Better Relations

Playfulness is associated with being childish or superficial, which is a myth. A playful person tends to be vulnerable and intimate, resulting in better relationships. 

If we are not depressed, addicted to substances, or sad, we tend to have lesser relationship issues.

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Playfulness And Stress

Playfulness And Stress

Playfulness works as good as deep breathing or mindfulness meditation to remove any stress you may have.

We need to stop exhausting our brain analyzing, judging, comparing, and solving complex problems in our lives and just play for some time.

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Playfulness And Creative Thinking

Playfulness And Creative Thinking

We become smarter and more creative as we get more playful, as we start to think flexibly and outside the box.

Games and certain exercises that jog our brain in creative ways gives us a much needed mental break.

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Develop and Harness New Skills

Develop and Harness New Skills

If we are working towards developing a new skill, like learning to play the guitar, or a new language, it helps to turn it into a playful game.

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Playfulness In Your Identity

Playfulness In Your Identity

As we play games, learn new skills and meet new people, refining our work and focusing our energy positively, we start to nurture and build our identity, resulting in diversification and new ways of earning money.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Becoming Young

Becoming Young

Being young is being curious. And most people become cynical and overly critical towards life as they grow older, and only a select few retain the wonder, innocence and joy of a child.

An a...

Our Inner Critic

Our inner critic is usually formed in a system based on right and wrong answers and outperforming others on structured tasks. Listening to our inner critic will rarely improve our creative work - it may actually result in conformative work.

We need to turn this inner-critic into an inner-coach and drive our personal growth.

Re-educating Our Inner Critic

We do not need to suppress or kill our inner critic, but only need to re-educate it, but only need to deploy three simple ways to make space for the inner child:

  1. Get more playful in our creative endeavours.
  2. Skip doing something adults do in favour of doing something that kids love to do, like drawing, writing poems and playing in the pool.
  3. Practice constructive questioning by asking why to the things we (and others) take for granted.

Keep Learning: Adult Beginners

It is a myth that experts commit fewer errors than beginners. The Dunning-Kruger Effect states that people who are bad at something are often unaware of the fact, and are ...

The Curse Of The Experts

Experts, who are skilled and are aware of their knowledge, tend to be more efficient in their handling of problems.

However, the skills, knowledge and expertise often turn into a handicap, a blindspot that makes the expert commit errors in certain situations where a more agile, fresh and innovative solution is required.

Children: Natural Beginners

As we struggle in the settings of our laptop/phone/iPad, we see that children conquer these gadgets almost instantaneously. This is because everything is new for them, and they have a true beginner's mindset.

Children see the world with no burden of past experience, and less junk knowledge inside their heads, which are mostly restrictions. They are not worried about sounding foolish, so they ask questions that most of us wouldn’t.

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Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. "

Albert Einstein

Curiosity declines with age

Children are extremely curious. They keep asking, "why?" and explore new things just because they want to know.

But research shows that during the schooling years, curiosity steadily declines, and as adults, we fall into fixed and convenient thought patterns.

The mechanics of curiosity

Research around curiosity found that children at age 5 scored 98% on a creativity test. When the same children took the test at age 10, only 30% scored well on the test. By age 15, only 12% of the same children did well. Less than 2% of adults are defined as creative based on their answer to this standardised test.

Science suggests this decrease in curiosity could be caused when we feel there's no gap between what we know and what we want to know, so we just stop being curious.