I recently read an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the importance of play for adults...here are a few of the most salient points:
Dr. Stuart Brown, a psychiatrist and founder of the National Institute for Play in Carmel Valley, CA noted that all forms of "play" are not only pleasurable but briefly suspend the player's sense of time and place, plus the experience of playing is more important than the outcome.
And Lynn Barnett, a professor of Recreation, Sports and Tourism at the University of Illinois says that "highly playful adults feel the same stressors as everyone else but they appear to experience and react to them differently, allowing stressors to roll off more easily than those who are less playful."
What I took away from the article was
- how "play" is a welcome departure for most people from most activities (especially in a country and a time where we're constantly told to work bigger, faster, harder, or at least smarter!)
- how life-enhancing (and therefore health-enhancing) play can be
- and how much "play" and T'ai Chi Chih have in common!
Here's what I mean:
- T'ai Chi Chih is also known as "Joy Through Movement" because, of course, it's fun!
- And over time, T'ai Chi Chih practitioners become more "present." Why you ask? Because T'ai Chi Chih is one of many evidence-based mindfulness practices...in all mindfulness practices the journey is the destination so just doing T'ai Chi Chih on a regular basis enables practitioners to be more capable of simply responding to things as they occur rather than reacting over and over to past events or ruminating about possible future events.
- And doing T'ai Chi Chih on a regular basis inevitably brings about LOTS of other desired mental and physical outcomes (all of which greatly contribute to a more satisfying life!)
- Plus T'ai Chi Chih practitioners regularly report that, over time, things simply stop "getting under the skin" the way they used to.
In the article, Dr Brown concluded his thoughts by saying “play is a basic human need as essential to our well-being as sleep, so when we're low on play, our minds and bodies notice…over time play deprivation can reveal itself in certain patterns of behavior: We might get cranky, rigid, feel stuck in a rut or feel victimized by life. To benefit most from the rejuvenating benefits of play, he says, we need to incorporate it into our everyday lives, not just wait for that two-week vacation every year.”
Sounds like yet another scientist agrees with me that the body is an ecosystem and when things get out of balance there will be suffering!
The good news is that if you feel overworked and unwell (or just cranky, rigid, and stuck in a rut) and you’ve never experienced T’ai Chi Chih then you have two wonderful opportunities right around the corner!
My good friend and colleague Beth Keil and I will be co-facilitating a dynamic FREE seminar on June 7th (click here for more details.)
Plus I’m teaching early morning classes on Thursdays throughout the summer in the BEAUTIFUL Main House Gardens at Mt Cuba Center…I’m not advertising these classes on my website so click here for info for how to register for my next 8-week series.
So sign up for one (or both!) of these events today and LEARN HOW EASY IT IS TO ADD PLAY TO YOUR DAY!!!
Jessica Lewis, CPT, CNC
HCC Lifestyle Coach