05. Play

Written by Swati Joshi

August 20, 2019

I think we take life as a way more serious affair than it actually is. We also spend lots and lots of time and energy in thinking, planning and assuming about how we should live, what we should achieve or what we are searching for. Doing so is good as we have to do something that makes our time on this planet count.

Life needs goals to use the skills we are blessed with. Setting goals, working hard towards and finally achieving them definitely gives satisfaction and a little happiness. But, is that much happiness sufficient for this long-long term of life? And secondly, can this individual happiness provide our people with the same degree of joy? Perhaps not! Then, what should we do for a long lasting happiness and ultimately a long life??

If I have to suggest one of the restoratives, I’d say just play! (I’ve also discussed some other remedies in previous articles.)

Yes, you read it right. Playing is one of the best remedies for a happy, healthy and a long life. If you’re a sports person, it’s the best thing you’ve got to do on Earth. But, it’s not possible for everyone to join the league.
So, what’s the solution? Let me drive you there.
Dear friends, playing doesn’t mean any particular sport here. 

Any fun activity that gives you the feeling of merriment or the feeling of contentment is a play. Making it simpler, playing carom, cards, with ball or just playing any musical instrument and singing aloud with your people as a leisurely activity serves far better than sitting alone and reading a book. Reading a book and having a quality time for yourself definitely has its benefits but when we’re talking about a remedy for a longer and a better life; we must think on a larger scale. 

You must ask then, how this would add a few more years to your lifespan? Life has been stressful in any era you talk about. Your grandparents had to face it, your parents also have confronted it, you are or will be doing it and your kids will also have to take the bull by its horns! So, if you want to kill this stress, having fun is the only solution. Any activity that involves money for amusement, will no longer serve as a stress buster!  

We are social animals and so, need social connections. Today, solitude might be a fashion that so called intellectuals are advocating as a trend.

People nowadays talk about being with one’s self or knowing the self first but, I personally believe that it doesn’t help much in creating happiness for ourselves. 

Living happily doesn’t need a constant check on one’s feelings and their expressions.

So, to develop a social connection, playing or spending time together in fun activities helps the best to add some quality years to our lives.
Have you seen a child forgetting its toothache while diverted through play? As I’ve mentioned previously, the problems and issues are eternal but complaining about them or constantly trying to fix them doesn’t work and it adds up to the level of stress, making it worse by disturbing the Cortisol and Serotonin levels in our body.

Cortisol is a stress hormone, released when we’re stressed. It has a vital role in regulating the major body functions like metabolism and immune response. In simpler words, once released, it takes charge of blood sugar levels, blood pressure, minerals and water balance and body’s ability to fight off the infection and heal itself. In short, in stressful conditions, Cortisol becomes a goon, making yr life a living hell!

On the contrary, Serotonin – a very important chemical released in the human body is also a neurotransmitter.

It is believed to be associated with mood regulation, social behavior, appetite and most importantly, it has a control over our sleep-wake cycle and the body clock.

If this is too tough to understand then I would say as a layman, this chemical helps the nerves to talk with each other so, if our nervous system wants to send the message of wellbeing and happiness to the whole body, it definitely requires this chemical. (I’ve elaborately described it for a common man hardly cares to search and read such stuff!) So, is Serotonin our Santa?? smile

The conclusion is, we need a low cortisol-high serotonin condition in our body. Good mood, feeling light n having some physical activity results into low cortisol-high serotonin levels, so now you know that having fun is a must for a healthy life!

Next, as we’ve discussed earlier, being with the people you like, having light sport activities and spending a few cheerful horus would add a few years to your life. As, doing so will help you stay connected with each other. Such connections are proven to be some boons most of the times.

It helps by giving us a chance to share and care. Generations learn from one another, killing the so called gap! 

 

When children are with other family members, we need not to tell them how to learn any particular value as they automatically start understanding the things merely by observing the behavior.  

Today, spirituality is trending. People use it as some aid to become calm and contented. I’ve asked many friends about how is being spiritual helpful? Some common answers include that it brings sound sleep n a sense of contentment.

I’d say playing brings about the same benefits. Spending time laughing, playing, participating in fun activities will bring you more composure and thus a sound sleep than any spiritual lecture you prefer. (Some definitely make us fall asleep, that I won’t deny!! ) laughing

Happiness is a matter of choice, it has no prerequisites. Spending good times with your people around is all it takes.

Practicing this on a regular basis will enhance the quality of life by giving you a low level of stress, positive environment (happy thus positive), your people and improved relationships.

Joyous days and Calm nights with sweet dreams, what else one needs for a healthy, long life?

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Living is not just about counting days or years. The thrill, wonder and reason to smile gives life its real meaning. The everyday enthusiasm makes your days count here.

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