As children, we never gave the act of playing games with our friends and family a second thought. It was just pure fun and children naturally tend to play whenever they can! But what happens to us when we grow up? The weight of responsibilities and the stress of daily lives sometimes become overwhelming and we forget how to play and unwind. It seems that we become too serious for our own good! But experts say that the ability to engage in playful activities is essential for the physical, mental and emotional health of people of all ages.
The benefits of play
It is a known fact that outdoor sports regularly is not only fun, but it is also good exercise. Even playing silly indoor games with family and friends is healthy. The stress free and happy environment makes people feel young, active and vibrant. Games also become a common platform for family members, friends and even co-workers to bond. It promotes cooperation and team spirit. For people battling personal loss, depression or loneliness, play becomes a panacea. While the activity takes their minds off negative emotions, and the team gives them a sense of belonging and social acceptance.
Intellectually stimulating games like puzzles, riddles, chess and memory games help in brain development. By promoting analytical and lateral thinking, enhancing cognitive skills and boosting memory power, they enhance learning abilities. Impromptu decisions that are often required in the course of a game help improve decision making and creative problem solving abilities through repeated practice.
When there are so many benefits to playing, it is no wonder that it can also become a useful therapeutic tool in the hands of a good counselor that can help teenagers, adults and even the elderly.
Play as a therapy
Beyond the numerous health benefits, playing also helps us explore and understand ourselves better. In fact due to this, therapists often use play therapy to treat several serious diseases and disorders in adults such as anxiety, depression, mood disorders, dementia, obsessive and compulsive issues, attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder and other behavioral disorders. It can even help people deal with trauma, grief and personal losses better which is why it is essential for adults to relearn the valuable skill of playing.
Play therapy can be done through several methods, physical movement play being only one among many. Role play, storytelling, fantasy play, creative play, dream play and social play are some of the other ways in which counselors try to help their patients deal with their specific set of issues. Play can also include the use of objects like puppets, toys, sand, or water for healing.
However, it is essential that play as a therapeutic treatment should be administered only by professionals specially trained for it. Incorrect usage may carry the danger of exacerbating the problem. For example, fantasy play and play therapy focused on using imagination is not a suitable approach for patients experiencing hallucinations and delusions. The experienced and qualified therapists available in Tampa and Brandon, FL, can guide adults with the game method best suited for their requirement. Visit https://www.therapycts.com/blog/ for more details.