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Why It’s Important to Play

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the importance of play. Now, when you think about playing, maybe some childhood memories arise, you know. Maybe you were climbing trees, riding your bike, digging in the sand pit. As you bring that memory to mind, can you remember what the feeling of playing was like? That sense of doing something just for enjoyment and totally unselfconsciously doing what you wanted that brought you joy, brought you a sense of fun? Can you remember the last time you played like that in your life more recently? Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many of us stopped playing.

In our busy modern lives, we really tend to focus heavily on work, achievement, and family commitments. And so much so that we often exhaust ourselves and then end up zoning out, watching TV, scrolling on our phones at the end of the day, rather than carving out time. Just to play. Now living like this, we can easily lose a sense of wonder and enjoyment. But those qualities are innate to our deeper nature and are just waiting to be rediscovered.

Play is relaxing. It's rejuvenating. It adds joy to life. It's an amazing stress reliever, resilience booster, especially in hard times. Play can actually supercharge learning, deepen bonds with those around you, and make your work life more productive and pleasurable.

Play is being shown to release endorphins and, therefore, feelings of well-being, improve brain functionality and memory, and stimulate the growth actually of the cerebral cortex. So perhaps not surprisingly, play stimulates creativity and helps us feel more energy. So if we can bring back that sense of play into life, not only does it make life more enjoyable, but actually it helps us cultivate a happier, healthier mind. So the invitation for today and the week ahead is to bring a little more playfulness back into your life. Maybe you could deliberately carve out time just for fun.

Maybe that would take the form of a bike ride, dancing, board games, cloud watching, roasting marshmallows around the fire with your loved ones. Whatever it is, making it a priority to play, and then being attentive to what effect that has on your body, your mind, and in your life. Now, one final note here. I think when we're practicing mindfulness, it's really tempting to think that it's really serious, it's serious work and there's no place to play, but that's not the case. It's really important to keep a light, easy, and curious attitude in meditation, even be able to laugh or smile at the mind.

This makes meditation more vital, more joyful, and helps us stay steady and calm in presence as we train the mind. So let's bring a little bit of playfulness into our practice today. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Why It’s Important to Play

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the importance of play. Now, when you think about playing, maybe some childhood memories arise, you know. Maybe you were climbing trees, riding your bike, digging in the sand pit. As you bring that memory to mind, can you remember what the feeling of playing was like? That sense of doing something just for enjoyment and totally unselfconsciously doing what you wanted that brought you joy, brought you a sense of fun? Can you remember the last time you played like that in your life more recently? Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many of us stopped playing.

In our busy modern lives, we really tend to focus heavily on work, achievement, and family commitments. And so much so that we often exhaust ourselves and then end up zoning out, watching TV, scrolling on our phones at the end of the day, rather than carving out time. Just to play. Now living like this, we can easily lose a sense of wonder and enjoyment. But those qualities are innate to our deeper nature and are just waiting to be rediscovered.

Play is relaxing. It's rejuvenating. It adds joy to life. It's an amazing stress reliever, resilience booster, especially in hard times. Play can actually supercharge learning, deepen bonds with those around you, and make your work life more productive and pleasurable.

Play is being shown to release endorphins and, therefore, feelings of well-being, improve brain functionality and memory, and stimulate the growth actually of the cerebral cortex. So perhaps not surprisingly, play stimulates creativity and helps us feel more energy. So if we can bring back that sense of play into life, not only does it make life more enjoyable, but actually it helps us cultivate a happier, healthier mind. So the invitation for today and the week ahead is to bring a little more playfulness back into your life. Maybe you could deliberately carve out time just for fun.

Maybe that would take the form of a bike ride, dancing, board games, cloud watching, roasting marshmallows around the fire with your loved ones. Whatever it is, making it a priority to play, and then being attentive to what effect that has on your body, your mind, and in your life. Now, one final note here. I think when we're practicing mindfulness, it's really tempting to think that it's really serious, it's serious work and there's no place to play, but that's not the case. It's really important to keep a light, easy, and curious attitude in meditation, even be able to laugh or smile at the mind.

This makes meditation more vital, more joyful, and helps us stay steady and calm in presence as we train the mind. So let's bring a little bit of playfulness into our practice today. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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