Play is Brain Candy
October 10, 2017
Halloween is the play holiday. Play is the “brain candy” that dissolves stress, depression and creates mental and physical health.
Play is hardwired into our genes. George Barnard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” The benefits of play and laughter in developing resilience to stress, depression, and aging are numerous.
Laughter is “internal jogging” and studies show laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, boosts your immune function and increases muscle flexion. Research tells us play is linked to strong family relationships, helps the brain learn faster, increases energy and is a key to slowing the aging process.
Halloween creates the perfect opportunity for each of us to remember the critical nature of play in our stressful, chaotic lives. Play is a biological process like sleep and is essential for our mental and physical health.
Use the “Play at Home and Work” tips listed below to add a little fun to your everyday life.
- Food. Make playful foods to share with your family, neighbors, and coworkers. Be creative with playful food; you can go online to find fun Halloween recipes. Bake witch finger cookies and deadly brownies or make bloody Jello and spooky Halloween drinks. You can also pack playful lunches during the month.
- Costumes. Dressing up is lots of fun. Dig through your closet to find inspiration. Go online to buy superhero digs or get some gauze and wrap yourself up like a creepy mummy. Don’t forget to get a costume for your pet as well. Plan a playful party at your home, in your neighborhood, at your place of worship, or at your job.
- Games. Why not bob for apples or have contests for the scariest picture? You can also go online for Halloween games that the family can play. Online gaming sites can create lots of play and laughter.
- Pumpkins. Carving pumpkins is a ritual handed down for generations. Create a family night where pumpkins are carved, stories are told, and laughter ripples through your home. You will plant playful memories your children will always remember.
- Halloween crafts. Don’t forget that arts and crafts help to exercise the brain, foster creativity and togetherness, and create playful memories for the entire family.