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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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February 12 2018

Primal Reflection Point: How Are You Playing?

By Mark Sisson
5 Comments

Inline_Live-Awesome-645x445-04“Insufficient play is another major disconnect in modern life, causing reduced productivity, increased stress, and accelerated aging. Stuart Brown, author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul and one of the world’s leading experts on play, calls play a ‘profound biologic process.’ He explains that play, across the span of a lifetime, promotes the development and maintenance of a ‘cognitively fluid mind.’

“Cognitive fluidity—being able to go with the flow, think outside the box, process what-if scenarios, and react quickly and effectively to changes in our environment—is believed by anthropologists to represent one of the most profound breakthroughs in human evolution. This breakthrough in brain function, probably emerging 60,000 years ago, meant that humans’ brains could link knowledge from different domains. The way humans understood and approached the world became both more flexible and more expansive. This enabled more creative use of technology, better transfer of knowledge between generations, and a resultant spike in human longevity. Cognitive fluidity is still essential today, helping us adapt and thrive in a complex, high-tech society. When we get stuck in patterns of overwork and overstress, we lose that important connection with our creative, intuitive, playful selves. Our work suffers and so does our happiness.”

—From The New Primal Blueprint

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TAGS:  Aging

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5 thoughts on “Primal Reflection Point: How Are You Playing?”

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  1. Living Awesome everyday. “Go with the flow,” is a great way to maintain balance in my life anyway. I try to adapt to change rather than stress over it.

  2. The word “play” can be misleading. For me, it conjures up children running around a school yard during recess. Or overpaid adults running around a football field. For most of us, I think “play” is simply doing what we enjoy. Some people get paid for doing what they enjoy. Does that mean it’s really play?. Possibly, although that can become a gray area since anything involving money can also involve stress. Actually, play can be anything from running a marathon to reading a good book or wandering around Costco looking for bargains. It’s whatever floats your boat, even if it doesn’t meet someone else’s definition of play.

    1. I like this response, thank you Shary! I tend to panic a little bit whenever “play” is mentioned as an essential component of longevity & happiness. At 49, I feel like I wouldn’t even know how to play anymore, lol.

    2. I do wonder if this applies to “play” as brought up in this post. It would be nice to have some kind of definition provided if something is said to be important to our long term health. I mean, you’ve just brought up a list of things that you see as play, that I may not entirely agree on, and while I’m not saying you’re wrong at all (it can be very personal), it does raise the question of whether or not these things would convey the benefits mentioned by the post, and how would one know?

  3. Every time I read a post, etc., about play, I wish there were Primal Play Groups.