Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators Book Study
MARCH Topic: PLAY and CREATE (develops COURAGE)
Creativity and play unlock inner resources for dealing with stress, solving problems, and enjoying life. When we are creative, we are resourceful, and we problem-solve in new and original ways, which fuels our courage. Our thinking expands, and our connections with ourselves & others deepen.
What is Play? Play has the following attributes:
- Apparent purposelessness: It's done for its own sake and not for any practical reason.
- Voluntary: It's not obligatory or required by duty.
- Inherent attraction: It's fun and makes you feel good.
- Freedom from time: You lose a sense of the passage of time.
- Diminished consciousness of self: You stop worrying about whether you look good or stupid. In imaginative play, you might even be a different self. You are fully in the zone.
- Improvisational potential: You are open to doing things in a variety of ways. You get new ideas.
- Continuation desire: You want to keep doing it.
Benefits of Play:
Play relieves stress. It triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. (Even just remembering an intensely playful experience can do this - try it right now!)
Play improves relationships. Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others. Play doesn't have to be a specific activity; it can also be a state of mind. Developing a playful nature can help you loosen up in stressful situations, break the ice with strangers, and make new friends.
Play improves brain function. Playing chess, completing puzzles, or pursuing other fun activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems. The social interaction involved in playing many of these games is an added benefit.
Play stimulates the mind and boosts creativity. Young children often learn best when they are playing - and that principle applies to adults as well. You'll learn a new task better when it's fun and you're in a relaxed and playful mood. Play can also stimulate your imagination, helping you adapt and problem-solve.
Play keeps us feeling young and energetic. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." Playing can boost our energy and vitality and even improve our resistance to disease. In fact, it might just help us live longer. A group of scientists spent 15 years studying Alaskan grizzlies and concluded that the bears who played the most survived the longest (Brown, 2009)
Stuart Brown's 8 Play Personalities: Which are you?
1. The joker: Makes people laugh, plays practical jokes
2. The kinesthete: Loves to move, dance, play sports, hike, bike
3. The explorer: Meets new people, seeks out new experiences
4. The competitor: Loves all forms of competition, loves to keep score
5. The director: Has fun planning and executing events and experiences
6. The collector: Revels in the thrill of collecting objects and experiences
7. The artist/creator: Finds joy in working with his or her hands or making things
8. The storyteller: Uses his or her imagination to create and absorb stories.