Tactile Pleasures: Why Play Benefits Adults Just as Much as Kids

Have you ever noticed the way that all kids find time to play and most adults do not? It’s a strange dichotomy of life when one age groups feels so free to enjoy playtime and another does not. Play, especially the sort that provides tactile pleasure, is as good for grownups as it is for kids. In fact, play benefits adults in ways you might not even know about.

What experts say about play

“Play is something done for its own sake. It’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome,” says Dr. Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play. Experts at the institute note that the opposite of enjoyment is not work –it’s depression. If you want to lead a happier, healthier, more productive life, make more time for fun.

These days, neuroscientists and developmental and cognitive psychologists understand more about play than they ever did before. From a molecular understanding to actual evolutionary evidence, the perception of play as a biological necessity is making great strides. Play shapes young brains and mature brains, too. Play may advance competency and boost productivity when actual work is required. Not only that –playtime can improve your emotions and overall sense of well-being.

Add playtime to your daily routine

Improve your cognitive function and have a good time doing it when you incorporate more tactile playtime into your daily life. Suggested activities include playing with a puppy and petting a cat. Take off your shoes and walk barefoot through grass. Go to the nearest beach and kick up a little sand. Hang out with playful people, and you’ll probably feel more playful, too, says HelpGuide magazine. Pack a picnic basket and visit a neighborhood park. Toss a Frisbee, nosh on yummy sandwiches and feel your mood go from blah to blissful.

A jigsaw puzzle in a company break room can improve morale and camaraderie amongst co-workers.Company field trips on company time are great mood-boosters, too.

Hands-on therapy

Various types of arts and crafts can be beneficial to grownups, especially if they’re the sort that doesn’t get a lot of playtime in their life. Digging your hands into soft clay and fashioning a plant pot or a set of wind-chimes is not only a great way to relieve anxiety, the release from boredom potters feel may help them be happier adults outside the potting studio.

Crafts such as clay play add a lot of tactile pleasure to life. Artistic endeavors that appeal  to the visual sense are also wonderful ways that grownups can improve their personal worlds. A mandala coloring book app for Android phones offers relaxation and mental rejuvenation for overworked adults. Simply download the free app at Google Play, then color ‘til your heart’s content and your mind is relaxed.

If you don’t have time for play, make time. The benefits of tactile enjoyment are out there to be sampled, and you deserve some fun.

Sebastian Sykes lives life to the fullest, embracing every moment; especially cherishing the happy moments. He writes about making the most of happiness and how to let go of stress.

Why Play Benefits Adults Just as Much as Kids

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