We can all admit that being an adult is tough. Council tax, global warming, the rising price of avocados… there is a myriad of horrible things we don’t really want to think about, but also feel we should appear educated enough to comment on when it comes up in conversation.
But the one thing we must not do in the face of this difficulty is forget that we are grown ups. As tempting as it might be to don a onesie and launch ourselves into a ball pit, regressing back to childhood is neither productive nor sensible. Whilst being silly and playful and might seem like a perfect antidote to our hard, overworked and overstressed lives I can assure you that being overworked and overstressed is actually good for you. You can’t play your way through a mortgage application, remembering your tax returns or keeping up with world affairs. These are all serious activities that need to be treated with the utmost formality and respect. And so I remind you, the many reasons why adults should never play
1) It relieves stress
Play can trigger the release of endorphins which helps reduce stress and counterbalances the negative hormones that cause anxiety and depression, it can even help relieve pain. The thing is though, stress is really important in adulthood because it gives us something complain about and totally legitimises the nine G&Ts you end up sinking just to make it through Wednesday.
2) It helps forge friendships
The release of endorphins during group play creates stronger relationships and makes us want to do more playful activities in the future. Play and laughter also releases the hormone oxytocin which helps us feel connected to others. But if we are being really honest, adults don’t need more friends. It’s hard enough keeping up with all your facebook messages and the two group whatsapps without actually having to see people face to face.
3) It improves brain function
Numerous scientific experiments have proven that for both animals and humans, an environment where play and puzzle solving are encouraged dramatically improves mental function and your emotional state. I would argue however that we’re adults, our brains are meant to slow down a bit. That way you can excuse never remembering what day of the week it is and spending 20 minutes on the loo every morning watching dog videos.
4) It keeps you feeling young and energetic
The point of being a grown up is that you are no longer young which then gives you an excuse for not being energetic. There is no more satisfying feeling than paying for a gym membership you never use because it is a perfect reminder you are an adult and can waste your money however you want.
5) It boosts creativity
Play takes us back to our childhood brains, our inhibitions are lowered and we can be freely creative without worrying about ‘doing it wrong.’ Except we might do something horribly embarrassing which is why we suppress own creativity and stay within the nice safe boundaries of instagram filters.
So if I have managed to convince you play is not suitable for adults then congratulations, you can go back to reading the business section of The Guardian. If I haven’t convinced you then I’m afraid you have a much happier, creative and healthier time ahead of you.
Here at Komorabi we believe that play can be used for even more than just improving your physical and mental wellbeing. Our attitude to play is that is can form a framework for everyday acts of kindness and microvolunteering so that you are not only helping yourself feel happier and healthier, but also helping to improve the world around you.