The Best Stress Antidote May Be Play


Some very fine minds throughout history have considered play to be the best use of our human powers.

To run, skip, jump, be attentive, curious, and experiment, for no other reason than the pure pleasure of it, is the beauty and genius of play.

Play is also an effective stress and anxiety reliever. It is not always easy to engage in play when feeling nervous or pressured, but it relaxes and energizes our mind and body.

In Praise of Play

“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” ~ Heraclitus

“This is the real secret of life—to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” ~ Alan Wilson Watts

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Our play is not something separate from our spirituality; it is itself a sign of the presence of God in the world.” ~ Ken Shigematsu

“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything, than when we are at play.” ~ Charles E. Schaefer

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which.” ~ Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand

“I wondered then why children played so in the river, but adults ceased to see it with the same eyes. Why couldn’t we embrace such simple joys?” ~ John Shors

“To amuse oneself in order that one may exert oneself...seems right; for amusement is a sort of relaxation, and we need relaxation because we cannot work continuously.” ~ Aristotle

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ~ Plato

“The child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child who lived within him and who he will miss terribly.” ~ Pablo Neruda

“Our hearts and imaginations need to dance and play if we are to live awake.”
~ Jaeda DeWalt

“Genius is play, and man’s capacity for achieving genius is infinite, and many may achieve genius only through play.” ~ William Saroyan

“It is time for a return to childhood, to simplicity, to running and climbing and laughing in the sunshine, to experiencing happiness instead of being trained for a lifetime of pursuing happiness.” ~ L.R. Knost

“Give freely, love fully, and play with fervor! Don’t put so many conditioned rules on your happiness. Life can be a beautiful experience if we allow it.” ~ Steve Maraboli

“Sometimes, the inessential is essential.” ~ T. L. Rese

Photo credit: Mike Baird


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