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DR. JANET SCOTT

 

By Dr. Janet Scott

The Mid-South Tribune

The Mid-South Tribune ONLINE

And the Black Information Highway

www.blackinformationhighway.com

When Did You Play Last? 

            Some people are so engrossed in their work that it becomes the focus of their lives. These individuals often work themselves to a point of exhaustion. Sometimes it leads to physical as well as emotional problems. They utilize tunnel vision when it comes to other aspects of their lives. They often lose their families, friends, and the capability to be a totally healthy individual. They live their lives as though work is their only choice. Another choice that needs to be incorporated into one’s life is the act of playing.

What is play?

            Play as defined by Webster has many definitions. It can be defined as to amuse oneself; fun, jest; the act of manner engaging in a game or sport; scope of freedom; to act frivolously. Adults tend to use a more sophisticated word “leisure” instead of play. As one tends to grow into adulthood emphasis is placed on work and work ethics as opposed to play. Generally the most productive people are those who are capable of balancing work and play.

            One of life’s beauties is the capacity to play creatively. One of the problems people encounter as they mature is that they forget how to play. They become accustomed to a life without silliness, laughter, satisfaction, fantasy and joy. They settle for achievement and usefulness in nurturing others.

Adults may also have a harder time being playful because of the demanding roles such as parent, spouse, coworker and caretaker that one assumes as one grows older. These added responsibilities can make it difficult to behave in a spontaneous way which is essential to play.

Value of play

            When one plays the process is more important than the outcome. Play allows one to experiment and stretch oneself without the fear of negative consequences. There is no right or wrong way to play. Play fosters development in a number of ways: cognitivity, socially, emotionally and physically.

            Play also helps one to achieve the sense of connectedness on which all human beings thrive. To produce this feeling it only has to be fun. This is one way to help nurture relationships. Play also is a technique in dealing with friction and stress. It can be a powerful mode of communication because it does not have to be verbal. Play satisfies the deep human need to master new challenges. Many adults, as they age, are less inclined to try new things.

            To add play to one’s life only takes a thought, imagination and willingness. It is not necessary to always go outside the home seeking play. In the home is the type of atmosphere that playfulness in its many forms including gaiety, humor, and laughter can abound. Laughter is often an important ingredient in play. It is also therapeutic.

            It activates the chemistry for the will to live. Put some playfulness in your life today!

 

Summary

 

            The most productive people are generally those who are able to balance work and play. As one matures, individuals often forget how to be spontaneous and creative in their life of fun. They no longer incorporate the gaiety, humor and laughter which helps in the development of a healthy individual which leads to healthy relationships.

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Dr. Scott is a contributing columnist for The Mid-South Tribune. She is a National Board Certified Counselor and a Tennessee licensed professional counselor with a mental health provider designation offering individual, group, couple and family therapy. Her office is located at 1331 Union Ave., Memphis, TN. 38104; phone: 901-722-8751.

 

 

 

 

 

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