Peter Pan and proud of it: Be playful. It’ll help you deal with life better | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Peter Pan and proud of it: Be playful. It’ll help you deal with life better

Growing up isn’t all roses. One must never forget the child inside them, say researchers, who suggest that being playful is a good thing as it may help adults see things from new perspectives, make monotonous tasks fun and help them when choosing partners and in romantic relationships.

health and fitness Updated: Jan 16, 2017 10:52 IST
Playful people are able to reinterpret situations in a light manner and hence are able to cut down on their stress levels.
Playful people are able to reinterpret situations in a light manner and hence are able to cut down on their stress levels.(Istock)

Growing up isn’t all roses. One must never forget the child in them, say researchers, who suggest that being playful is a good thing as it may help adults see things from new perspectives, make monotonous tasks fun and help them when choosing partners and in romantic relationships.

A new study shows that playful people are able to reinterpret situations in their lives so that they experience them as entertaining or are able to reduce stress levels.

People who describe themselves as playful are also viewed by others as such.

Playfulness should not be equated with humour. Instead we need a new vocabulary to describe it, said Rene Proyer from Martin Luther University (MLU) in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.

Light-hearted playful people regard their whole life as a type of game, say researchers. (Istock)

“Playfulness is an independent personality trait that shares certain aspects with five global dimensions — including extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience and emotional stability that are frequently used to describe personality — but which cannot be interchanged,” Proyer explained.

In the study, the researchers identified four basic types of playful adults.

“There are people who like to fool around with friends and acquaintances. We describe this as other-directed playfulness. By contrast, light-hearted playful people regard their whole life as a type of game,” Proyer said.

Another category includes people who like to play with thoughts and ideas — this describes intellectual playfulness. These people are able to turn monotonous tasks into something interesting.

The psychologist describes the final group as being whimsically playful. “These people tend to be interested in strange and unusual things and are amused by small day-to-day observations.”

Conversely, playfulness in adults has also been associated with negative connotations.

Playful people are sometimes not taken seriously or are seen as unreliable, as they may easily change perspectives to find unusual and novel solutions, to complex problems.

The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

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