You might have heard that play is the opposite of work; you want to find out how to be more playful but you get to play only when you have free time, like over the winter holidays.
The truth is that play is an important human activity, nearly as important as eating and sleeping. Playfulness is associated with creative thinking and innovation. Playing improves our relationships, our health, and our problem-solving abilities. It also increases our comfort with risk-taking, and our ability to learn and grow throughout adulthood. Brian Sutton-Smith, a play theorist, says that the opposite of play is depression.
Thus, it follows that a healthy workplace is one where you can be as playful as you are meant to be.
When you are in touch with your own unique blend of play preferences, you can evaluate whether you have chosen the right career and workplace.
Here’s how to be more playful.
Below are the descriptions of each of the eight play personality types as identified by Dr. Stuart Brown, play expert and founder of the National Institute for Play. He describes them in his book, Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul. Most people identify with two or three of these play personalities. Read through the descriptions while asking yourself this question: What types of play did I enjoy most as a child? What types of play do I naturally gravitate towards as an adult?
Discovering your play personality will help you think of ways to incorporate play into your work and adult life. And discovering the play personalities of the people around you will help you find more playful ways of connecting, sharing and deepening your relationships.
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