It might be hard to admit to feeling lonely, but research finds that people are increasingly isolated, and that loneliness is harmful to your health. We tend to have busy lives, and time with others is an area that often gets cut back as a result. In a large-scale study, researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad found that social integration is a stronger contributor to longevity than exercise, or quitting smoking or alcohol. Social integration means face-to-face interactions, even with strangers. Research also shows that in older people, social engagement is related to a higher level of cognitive function.
The Global Council on Brain Health makes several recommendations, including:
This is a great article on the link between play and innovation. Play is a place of openness, experimenting and surprising ourselves.
I think of Bernard De Koven as the Godfather of Play. I've written earlier about his lifelong dedication to giving people the gift of cooperative, joyful play. In this one-minute video, Bernie makes a simple distinction between game communities and play communities.
First of all, I must tell you that Bernard DeKoven is one of the loveliest humans I have had the pleasure of meeting. He has made a career of bringing play and playfulness to a world that so needs these things. In the late 1960s, Bernie wanted to make learning more fun for his 5th and 6th grade students, and so he made a game of everything possible. He has practiced and perfected what he calls "the playful path" ever since then. He is a game developer, teacher, and speaker, but above all, he is someone who sees that the human capacity for joy is closer than many of us realize. In this post, Bernie notes that it's obvious how to make life fun again, "Because the invitations are everywhere. And all we need do to make our game of life more fun is open those invitations and ourselves a little bit more up, and, from time to time, maybe just once in a while, play, help, love.