In his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff, Richard Carlson, PH.D. says,
“We live our lives as if they were one big emergency! We often rush around looking busy, trying to solve problems, but in reality, we are often compounding them.”
Our need to be right and our basic desire for approval, security, and control creates suffering. In other words, it is not our issues that are causing us pain, it is our interpretation of these issues that causes pain. As the Conscious Leadership Group puts it,
“Life doesn’t come with labels, we give life labels.”
When we recognize this about ourselves, there is an option we can choose to restore our perspective and accept reality as it is. Play.
Stuart Brown, author of the book Play, defines play as,
“An absorbing and apparently purposeful activity that provides enjoyment and suspends self-consciousness and a sense of time. It is also self-motivating and makes you want to do it again.”
The spirit of play comes from being fully present in the moment and accepting life rather than feeling the need to control it. Embracing this spirit of play can actually change our biology by influencing our autonomic nervous system. When you are ready to learn more about this, go read this incredible post be Dr. Russell Schierling to see how to squash the sympathetic nervous system that our over seriousness and lifestyle choices overstimulate; and see how play can (among other things) can stimulate the parasympathetics.
When you are stressing over an issue (rushing around, looking busy, trying to solve a problem), here are some exercises suggested by the Conscious Leadership Group using play to shift the mood.
- Argue why you can’t have what you really want.
- Make a country song that describes your issue and sing a line.
- Have a 15-second temper tantrum. Include your whole body and make noise.
- For 30 seconds, hop on one foot and flap your arms while discussing your serious issue.
- Radically change your body posture and talk about your issue.
- Sing “I am right and you are wrong.” to the tune of your favorite nursery rhyme.
Be empowered by play today.