Joy Ignites Success

Play More Earn More

By - Monday, October 26, 2015

The Power of Play

Do you believe that stress and fatigue are the price you have to pay for success? Have you ever felt like just giving up and running away?  What if you have it all backwards; that the answer is not in working more, but in playing more?

Though play is often dismissed as frivolous, or as an indulgence, we are missing out on a key element to success.  Many of our great inventors, including Einstein, Franklin and Freud are recognized for being great players.
I define play as an open and unattached way of interacting with self, others or objects; spontaneous being.  But play is a personal experience; each person has their own interpretation and their own internal response when invited to play.  We each have our preferred ways of playing and our favorite playmates (dogs!).  But all too often we are plagued with messages that it is wrong or even irresponsible to play.

The documented benefits of play are numerous.  D.W. Winnicott, a leading play therapist, says “it is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self”.  Play fosters creativity and flexibility and brings us into relationship with others.  Research has shown that play triggers the secretion of serotonin and endorphin (chemicals associated with pleasure, reward and stress reduction).  Inviting play into our adult lives can momentarily and permanently change our perspective.
In play, we provide ourselves with options; we become flexible, spontaneous and creative.  Incorporating a play mentality into our lives can open the doorway to abundance in every area.

Brian Sutton Smith, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania says, “The opposite of play is not work.  It’s depression.”  When we don’t incorporate play into our lives, we lose the joy life has to offer.  Our physical, emotional, and spiritual health are at risk for dis-ease.
How can we find time to play?  First, we have to decide to make it a priority.  Set aside 5 minutes each day to paint, walk, skip or dance.  And then, look for opportunities in each moment; in the spaces in-between. Sing to yourself on your way to work; doodle on the note to the doctor; or make funny noises when no one is listening.  

As you lighten up internally, you create space for yourself and expand the landscape of what you can see.  Before you know it, new ideas and possibilities are showing up everywhere.

Melanie is co-owner of Smithson Clinic, Inc. in Lakewood, Co. an Alternative Health Clinic specializing in the body-mind connection.  She holds a masters degree in Somatic Psychotherapy, is certified in Dance Movement Therapy, Sedona Method Coaching, EMDR, Hypnotherapy and Play Therapy.  She is the author of Stress Free in 30 Seconds and Reclaiming An Adult Relationship to Play and works with clients to access their innate wisdom and joyful presence.,,, 303-271-7659

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About MSI

Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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