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Benefits of Play and its Impact on Stress Relief

Play like a kid

You know what adults need? Recess. A break. Something to take us out of our everyday routines filled with responsibility, so we can do something… well, fun. Think of it as a bit of grownup playtime to spark some curiosity, and lighten the load. Try a puzzle, or experimenting with a few recipes. Maybe a poker night with friends, the online kind where you can video chat to see who may be bluffing!

It's science

  • Playtime is associated with an increase in the production of dopamine, a hormone that has been linked to improvements in mood, motivation, alertness, and cardiovascular and immune health. This rise in dopamine also has a relaxing effect and helps to reduce worry and anxiety.
  •  US author and psychiatrist Dr Stuart Brown - believes that play is as essential as sleep, and, like sleep, most of us aren’t getting enough of it.
  • As you age, play (especially the social and group kinds) facilitates happiness, wards off depression, improves cognitive health and lowers your risk of developing age-related diseases like dementia.

Where should you start?

Don’t laugh, but we want to try juggling, right now. Believe it or not, activities which require full concentration from both our mind and body (hence juggling) are great stress relievers. Here’s a how-to from a 📺 world champion juggler to get you going. He must be so stress free!


Extra credit

What was your favorite game or activity as a child? Next time you’re browsing online, order a version and see if you still remember the rules or can break your old record. It’s an easy way to add a bit of play at home, with or without someone else, while stimulating the brain in all the right ways.

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