Playfulness in adults is different from playfulness in kids
according to a 2017 study. Researchers from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg suggest that we often conflate playfulness in adults with humor or child-like behavior. But they found that playful adults see things easily from new perspectives and make boring tasks more interesting. Playfulness is also protective, say the psychologists, because a person is more likely to reinterpret stressful events as entertaining or novel.
What does this mean if you're not feeling playful?
Play more! Here are 3 easy things to try:
1. Ask 'What If'
What if allows our mind to lean against our routines, to step outside of our everyday expectations. We stretch and expand to release some pressure (what if I just got up and left work right now?); dream big (what if I finally recorded that song?); or entertain (what if that man across from me on the bus started making monkey sounds?)
2. Stop Judging
The quickest way to crush a playful moment - yours or someone else's - is to judge. We often judge when we're uncomfortable or tired, or both. Catch yourself judging, and just let it be. Let it be cheesy. Let it be immature. Let it be infantile. Let it be grandiose. Let it be. Go back to #1 and ask what if...I don't feel self-conscious as I'm doing a little jig?
3. Get around some kids
Chase 'em. Listen to what they're laughing about. Let them take the lead. Soon you'll find yourself caught up in the moment, pretending to be a hungry monster who needs its next meal.
Need some more help?
If you're stuck in your serious place we can help! First, subscribe to our email list if you haven't already. We send out playful tips every couple of weeks. Second, come to one of our workshops! We create a safe and supportive space to play, let loose and laugh.