Playing is not trivial. It is not for children or athletes only, nor is it just what you play outdoors. A game can be both indoors and outdoors, and everyone can take part in it.
The benefits of playing can be several, ranging from curing anxiety to building team spirit and many more in between.
Increasing Happiness With Playing
Playing is good for your brain
It has been scientifically proven that playing can be a boon for your brain. It can lead to the betterment of the brain in various ways, like stimulating the growth of nerves in the portions of the brain associated with controlling anger and emotions and shrinking the amygdala, which is responsible for reactions toward fear and threats.
Grizzly bears that play a lot are seen to have a longer life span. Even though playing won’t be immediately productive, it will enhance your happiness with time.
Playing enhances friendships
This point is not only for children who have just started making new friends but also for adults. There is no age to make new friends, and when you take part in a game or a sport, you might need to work as a team and incorporate others’ ideas into yours, and that’s how a new bond commences.
With time, the longer you be with them and communicate to strengthen your teamwork, the better the friendship gets, which sustains you throughout your life.
Playing boosts teamwork
Keeping aside the games that you play alone, the games which require to be played as a team can be essential in building your teamwork attribute. When you play as a team, you can’t be selfish and make decisions that might benefit you in some way but will defame the entire team.
You all need to fight together for the team, and this is how teamwork gets instilled in you which, will be very crucial for you in every stage of your life.
Playing improves your ability to communicate better
Apart from enhancing your teamwork skills and fostering team spirit in you, playing also leads to better communicative abilities. It is quite natural that when you play as a team, you must communicate well with the other teammates, and with time, this communication only gets better.
Communication is an integral part of your life which you will need in every field, be it jobs or relationships. When you possess clarity in your communication, it is very difficult to remain unhappy.
Playing enables you to use your imagination
Probably the most powerful ability humans can possess, imagination allows you to travel into a world of your own without abandoning the real world. You can create simulated realities and even explore them without having to go against what’s in front of you.
Imaginative plays begin at a very early age when children play imaginary games and tell silly stories. Although with time, the fine line between pretending and reality becomes thicker, this image is what keeps on nourishing your soul.
Playing is an essential break from your rigorous routine
You all need breaks in between your daily schedule. Without a proper break, your mind won’t function properly, as it might be too stressed out already. You will lack ideas, which will slow down the workflow.
A few minutes of any form of break will benefit you, but there’s no better break than an outdoor game with your buddies. Not only will it calm you down and refresh your mind, but it will also enhance your physique and keep you looking sharp always.
Playing increases your self-confidence
When you pursue any sport as your career, there will be times when you might go through rough phases, and that will impact every aspect of your life. But with time, you will heal, and what broke you will again help to boost your confidence.
This is the beauty of playing. One day might go hectic; another day will see you smiling. This is what helps to build confidence in you and leads to the betterment of everything you do.
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Playing teaches you to hustle and never give up
Playing can have a lot of positive impacts on your overall life, and one of them is teaching you to never give up under any circumstance. No matter how difficult the situation gets, you always give your best for the team without worrying about the result.
The same happens when you inculcate positive habits that you have learned from playing a sport. Life isn’t a smooth road always, but when you never give up, things are bound to get better.
Playing makes you more disciplined and well-behaved
This is one of the main reasons, besides physical improvement, that parents involve their kids in sports for. When they play along with others in the same team, or even against them, there are certain decorum and rules which they must abide by, and this is, in turn, inculcates discipline in them.
There is no sport without discipline, and the discipline people gain from them are incorporated, in unexpected ways, into their life. When you are disciplined from tip to toe, you are happy and healthy.
Playing induces physical fitness
It is the first quality that comes to your mind when you hear the name of a sport that is associated with rigorous physical activities. Many parents involve their children in certain co-curricular activities, which comprise various sports, to make sure that their children are physically fit and healthy.
There is no specific age to involve yourself in any form of sport. You just need to have the zeal and enthusiasm to carry it forward, and you’ll be amazed at your physique enhancement.
Playing boosts, the feel-good hormone
Dopamine, also known as the happiness hormone, or the feel-good hormone, is released when you experience something pleasurable that results in a feeling of well-being.
When you involve yourself in certain sports or games, and you make sure that the results go in your or your team’s favor, that feeling of joy and utter pleasure also releases Dopamine, which is instrumental in providing happiness to you.
Playing is also proven to increase mental alertness and enhance your memory.
Physical playing can delay mental decline
Playing, or any form of physical activity, is seen to increase your average lifespan, and it is the same with the age of your brain.
Researches, even though still in the earlier stages, have shown that older people supposedly suffer lesser or no cognitive decline when they associate themselves with some form of physical activity.
Even if it’s not physical activities like running or skipping, solving crossword puzzles, sudoku, and other memory games, it can also do wonders in preventing the aging of their brains.
Playing can help to overcome big problems
Problems are a part of everyone’s life and doing something which you love can help you in forgetting them or even come up with solutions to overcome them. A busy schedule can block your mind and prevent you from coming up with solutions to your problems.
Playing is a natural way to filter out all the challenges and dilemmas through your unconscious mind and help you to work those out. Even a few hours of playing refreshes your mind, and you feel new again.
Recess helps kids to do better academically
Some teachers and even certain parents have a notion that the more their kids will be engrossed in books, the better they will be academically, but that’s not true. Recess plays a vital role in their everyday lives. It’s an essential break from the studies, which helps them to unwind and release their stress.
When kids play, they give their hearts out. They enjoy every moment, which breaks the deadlock in their minds and helps them to be more focused on their studies.
Playing curbs stress and anxiety
Although meditation is a great way to curb stress and anxiety, not everyone has the willpower to meditate every day by staying focused and attentive.
Playing can be a great alternative to it, more so because it comes with the added benefit of maintaining your physical health, besides improving your memory and mental well-being, as meditation does.
You usually devote more time to playing rather than meditation; as a result, its impact is greater and can be more powerful in reducing stress and anxiety.
Playing helps you to socialize better
When you are involved in some kind of sport and are quite familiar with tournaments and competitions, you will surely know how valuable those can be to help you meet new people and get to know them.
Even if they are against you or your team, you can always interact with them, and who knows, you all can become great friends with time.
Even in your schools and colleges, you can get to know your classmates better when you all play together and interact.
Playing promotes better sleep
Scientists have suggested that exercise and sports are beneficial as they trigger the parts of the brain which release hormones associated with happiness and relaxation, as already mentioned above. Playing a sport is the perfect opportunity to unwind and stay fit and healthy.
When you play, your body does get exhausted, and your muscles ache. It is observed that this tiredness and pain allow you to sleep quicker at night. Also, you benefit from fresh air, which to promotes better sleep.
Playing improves your lung function
When you play and exercise regularly, more amount of oxygen gets drawn into your body. Not only this, carbon monoxide and other wastes also get expelled when you are regular with your physical activities.
This enhances your lung capacity while playing, and as a result, you don’t run out of breath easily. Your lung’s functionality increases and they become more efficient even when you are resting and not doing something physical.
Playing strengthens your heart
Your heart needs regular exercise and physical workouts to keep it healthy and to function properly as it is a muscle.
A healthy heart has a lot of benefits, the most important being proper blood circulation throughout the body.
Your heart can pump blood efficiently around the body when it’s healthy, and this, in turn, keeps the rest of the body’s functions regulated. Your heart will improve in functionality and performance when it is regularly worked out and challenged with exercises.
This leads to the betterment of your mental health
Just like your physical health, as discussed in a previous point, your mental health is also improved by regular exercising and playing. When you are active, the muscles of your brain are also working constantly and making you aware of the situations and providing solutions.
This way, your brain muscles are also worked out, which in turn shrinks the amygdala and improves your mood, reduces anxiety, combats negative emotions, curbs depression-related stress, and enhances your sense of well-being.
Sports are very instrumental in building leaders
Every sports team requires a leader, a captain who will pave the way for the others and show them how it’s done. That person becomes the face of the team, and he stands as an example for the other teammates to follow.
Several studies have found a correlation between leadership qualities and playing sports. Sports allow people to develop a “team mindset” and give their best even if the team loses. The leadership quality gained can be inculcated in every other field of life.
Playing is often the best way to learn a complicated subject
When you are having a tough time grasping a subject or understanding a certain chapter, playing with that, rather using graphics and animations to understand that, and trying out things on your own can help you greatly. You will understand the concepts on your own and much more easily.
The same is the case with children. This is why they understand computer systems quicker than adults because they are not afraid to try out new things and play with them.
Sports cater to the healthy development of children
Children who get into sports at an early age develop stronger bones and tougher muscles much quicker as compared to kids who don’t. This prevents the children from being physically injured at an early age when their bones are supposedly softer.
Research has proved that physical exercise before puberty in children is the best way to attain peak bone mass which lets the children become stronger than their counterparts and the perfect foundation for growth in the future.
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From the above points, it can be concluded that the positive impacts playing has on your physical as well as mental health are several, and all of these benefits improve your life in some way or the other, be it incorporating leadership qualities in you or helping you to socialize more. All of these benefits are utterly important for your overall happiness.
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“Mindfulness, meditation, and positivity – these three words describe me the best. I founded “BeHappyHuman” blog dedicated to spreading happiness and inner peace through mindfulness and meditation techniques. As a self-taught practitioner, I have been exploring these practices for the past decade and my passion lies in sharing their benefits with others. My mission is to help individuals achieve greater happiness.