Our society tends to dismiss play for adults unless it is competitive. Most of us think of adult play as respite or indulgence and maybe only valid when with small children. The notion is that once we reach adulthood, it’s time to get serious. And between personal and professional responsibilities, there’s no time to play.
But play, according to many psychologists, is just as pivotal for adults as it is for kids. According to some research, there is also evidence that play may in fact be one of the highest expression of our humanity, both imitating and advancing the evolutionary process. Play appears to allow our brains to exercise their very flexibility, to maintain and even perhaps renew the neural connections that enable the human potential to adapt to different situations and the environment. In addition, the studies show that play brings joy, allows for creativity and can even help relationships, with people, animals and even plants.
Sadhguru tells us about the importance of play and how to incorporate it into our daily lives.
Sadhguru: It is very important to bring a certain element of playfulness into your life, which unfortunately many in this world have lost. Beyond thirty or thirty-five years of age, there are very few people who are playful with the little things they do in their life.
What you need to understand is that a play cannot happen without absolute involvement. Whether you like it or not is not the point. Once you are into the game, you are absolutely committed for the duration of the game. Make playfulness a part of your life, by involving it in your daily activities, be it driving, cooking, talking or working. For this find a partner and enact how you’ll bring playfulness into the activity. You must become playful without looking absurd. The partner should tell whether the enacting would pass or not.
How to be playful Bringing playfulness into your daily activities is not very difficult. The simplest of things can be done in a playful manner. If you want to turn on the light, do so playfully. You can now adapt the same attitude whether you want to serve tea to somebody; or look for a key from a bunch of keys; or brush your teeth in the morning and even to put the brush back. Just bring a little liveliness and playfulness into the activities that you do, and you’ll see it’ll make a big difference.
Choose five different simple activities of your life and make them playful. If you don’t know how, first write it down, look at it and see whether it works without making you feel too obvious and too out of the way. When you make these activities playful they’ll slowly grow into other areas of life. Only if you are playful, you can take up big things in your life and attempt them. If you are dead serious, you will try to do only that which are safe and take up absolutely insignificant things in your life. By being playful you can take up bigger things and not die frustrated.