Love Games?

You’re an adult. When on earth do you have times to play games? You need to keep your nose to the grindstone and keep at it… and what’s love got to do with it?

Stuart Brown, MD, in his book Play likens play to oxygen, “…it’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it’s missing.” Sounds a little like love too, right?

If play is as life sustaining as the air we breathe, wouldn’t it be the ‘adult’ thing to get a regular dose? The subconscious mind, which is the childlike mind, the one that ‘does’ and ‘feels’, rather than ‘thinks’ is the one that is most positively impacted by play, so let’s see how it may benefit from a few tips on love and play…

Novelty and Love are Partners

Remember the start of a new love affair or a new crush? While there may have been some missteps, the first ‘honeymoon’ period was filled with discovery, and new experiences, and learning, and maybe a bit of passion or thrill thrown in. Yet after a while, this might have fallen into a routine, likely comfortable but definitely less engaging. This is true not only with people but with jobs, hobbies, moving (home or country) and more.

Research studies indicate that participants who are shown a series of familiar images spotted with “oddball” or unfamiliar images, they have different brain responses from one type to the other. Images that are unfamiliar activate a different part of our brain, the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA), or “novelty centre” of the brain. This part of the brain is linked to the hippocampus (learning centre) and the amygdala (processing emotional information), and creates dopamine.

This chemical reaction then makes us want to explore in search of a reward. And during the exploration – whether in the outside world or within our own minds – the connections within our system are both varied and fortified. Which makes our minds and brains more resilient and flexible.

Yes, you heard right – it’s not the actual reward, but the hunt for the reward that gets us motivated and ends up flexing the mental muscles.

And when we combine novelty with love, we can reactivate a wider web of resources that keep us motivated/engaged, which tends to reignite interest or passion. So doing something new with an ‘old’ love is kinda like having a new love all over again – one that you know, but see in a different way. Just ‘play’ with it and have a little fun. Stuart Brown discovered that couples who played together helped them rekindle their relationship and explore other forms of emotional intimacy.

This can also work for hobbies and other learning. When we spread our net wide, we often ‘catch’ some greater motivation in the areas that had become familiar and mundane.

But what if You’re not a Neophile?

Neophiles (neophiliac) is a term made popular by Robert Anton Wilson, and is a personality type characterized by a strong affinity for novelty.  But what if you’re not ‘that’?! There may be those who don’t like the feeling of something new. It means we have to start again, make new mistakes, take chances that things won’t work out right, feel uncomfortable…

And sometimes this can cause some nervousness. However, remember that the subconscious mind works closely with the physical body. The physical signals of nervousness are very similar to the reactions to excitement, so it might just be a misattribution – maybe you’re excited rather than nervous.

Or maybe that might be a more helpful suggestion to get yourself out to experiencing something new, fortify new connections in your brain, and maybe have some fun as a result!

Hypnosis can Help with Loving your Play…

If you need some suggestions or ways to play and love more, speaking directly to the subconscious mind is a quick and easy way to help you increase your ability to move gracefully through your daily life and add a little extra to motivate or challenge you positively. If some of the other aspects of your life are putting pressure on your ability to play or support your mind to learn and grow, hypnosis can help as well. Schedule a session or discounted bundle so that you can start playing a better game in life.

Life is more fun if you play games. Roald Dahl

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