Many people are working longer and harder, thinking that this will solve the problem of an ever-increasing workload. But they are still falling behind, becoming chronically overwhelmed, and burning out.
Work is where we spend much of our time. That is why it is especially important for us to play during work. Without some recreation, our work suffers.
Success at work doesn’t depend on the amount of time we work. It depends upon the quality of our work. And the quality of our work is highly dependent on our well-being.
Taking the time to replenish ourselves through play is one of the best things we can do for our career. When the project we are working on hits a serious glitch (as often happens), heading out to the basketball court with our colleagues to shoot some hoops and have a few laughs does a lot more than take our mind off the problem.
If basketball isn’t our cup of tea, having a model airplane contest, telling stories, or flying kites in the parking lot will also allow our relationship to the problem to shift and enable us to approach it from a new perspective.
Playing at work keeps us functional when under stress; refreshes our mind and body; encourages teamwork; helps us see problems in new ways; triggers creativity and innovation; increases energy and prevents burnout
Play as a way to Social Negotiations
Play is a powerful tool that can be applied for social negotiations.
It is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting.
Playing together for the fun of it brings joy, vitality, and resilience to relationships.
Play can also heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts.
Through regular play, we learn to trust one another and feel safe. Trust enables us to work together, open ourselves to intimacy, and try new things.
By making a conscious effort to incorporate more humor and play into our daily interactions, we can improve the quality of our love relationships- as well as our connections with co-workers, family members, and friends.
Play helps us develop and improve our social skills.
Social skills are learned in the give and take of play. Verbal communication and body language, safety and danger, freedom and boundaries, cooperation and teamwork: all are discovered and practiced repeatedly during infant and childhood play. We continue to refine these skills in adulthood through play and playful communication.
Play teaches us how to cooperate with others.
Play is a powerful catalyst for positive socialization.
Through play, children learn how to “play nicely” with others – to work together, follow mutually agreed upon rules, and socialize in groups.
As adults, play continues to confer these benefits. Evidence even shows that play may be an antidote to violence. In fact, those who avoid or have never learned to play may become lost in the world of fear, rage, and obsessive worry.
Mutual play can heal emotional wounds.
When adults play together, they are engaging in exactly the same patterns of behavior that positively shape the brain in children.
These same playful behaviors that predict emotional health in children also lead to positive change in adults.
Studies show that an emotionally-insecure individual can replace negative beliefs and behaviors with positive assumptions and actions by living with a secure partner.
Close, positive, and emotionally-fulfilling relationships heal and create emotional resiliency. Play provides a safe and joyous context for the development of such relationships.