Manage Stress Simple Health Simple Living

Playing to Reduce Stress

February 24, 2016

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When was the last time you played? And how about playing to reduce stress? It’s time to reconnect with our inner child so that we can be happier…and healthier!

It is vital that we reduce stress every day, because it is directly linked to a big increase in chronic stress.

Once we hit adulthood, we usually become so focused on work that we forget how to have fun. Fun and recreation is not just for children, but it is an essential part of a healthy life. Whether your playtime comes in the form of playing sports, gathering together with the family for game night, or playing hide and go seek with the kids, it is important to play.

Our bodies and minds need a break from the constant barrage of work demands and the details of everyday life. It is like a mini vacation within our day. If our play time happens to be revolved around physical activity, then you get the added bonus of increased oxygen to help you reduce stress and maintain your health.

Everyone needs at least one activity that they do, simply for fun. When you are intensely involved in an activity that you enjoy, your mind can enter a near-meditative otherwise known as flow.  Being in a state of flow significantly reduces your stress level, and increases creativity and problem solving.

Some ways that you can have fun:

1. Play a sport with friends or a local team. Sports are a great way to reduce stress in and of themselves. But being a part of a sports team can help you to feel apart of something bigger than just you. That sense of community is a great stress reliever.

2. Join a band or choir. Music is a great way to play. Find a local band or choir and let yourself get into the music.

3. Get involved with your local theater. This gives you an opportunity to play dress up as an adult. It also brings you together with others who enjoy theater.

4. Have a weekly game night with your family or friends. Turn off the television, gather some snacks and enjoy playing a couple of fun games with your family or friends. It is not only fun, but will bring you closer to one another as well.

5. Get in touch with your inner child and play more games with your children. Try dress up or tag. You will end up laughing a lot and bonding with your children even more.

6. Get involved with a crafting or gardening group. There are lots of people who get together to do things that they enjoy. Check in your local paper to see what groups or clubs may be organized for hobbies that you enjoy.

Make time for play every day and you will see a distinct difference in your stress level and an improvement in your overall health and sense of well being.

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