Playing: not just for kids

January 28, 2011

A few years ago I took a dance class called Nia. It was offered at the gym I belonged to and was held in a room that had a wall of windows.

Part of our routine was free-dance–we each took a turn at leading the group around the room in random steps of our own choosing.

Most of the women were uncomfortable with free-dance, even those who were graceful, fit and in-step. They were afraid they’d look silly. The glass walls of the studio meant others who were working out could look in. Oh, the angst!

Me? None of those things at the time, but I didn’t much care. It was fun to just let go and move, and if you know me, you know that I don’t much care what people think.

And frankly, I knew that most of the people at the gym were so focused on their own bodies, their own workouts, that our little routine was hardly a blip on their radar screen.

When was the last time you let go of all inhibitions, let yourself go and just played?

We simply do not play enough.
Its value is under-estimated.

My husband and I took dance class a while back, and while we didn’t always get every step perfectly, we had a blast expressing ourselves to music we love. We cracked up ourselves and our instructor. Our classes were grown-up play sessions and we really looked forward to them.

If your dog is your playmate, then you know all about letting yourself go. And if you’re lucky enough to be able to get down with kids or grandkids, it’s another opportunity to laugh, play and have fun.
It’s a tough world out there and for many people, it’s tougher than it’s ever been. It may seem like there’s nothing to laugh about. That play is superfluous.

I don’t think so.

Endorphin-producing laughter is a great stress reliever. It’s free. And it’s contagious.

It really is the best medicine.

So do something silly today. Play a little. And laugh a lot.

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