By Lindsay Valadares, LMHC, PRO Medical Counselor
“Play is a medium for expressing feelings, exploring relationships, and self-fulfillment.”Garry Landreth, Ed.D., LPC, RPT-S
Play is a natural part of our behavior and interaction with the world around us. We encourage play for relaxation and see play as a mechanism for fun, but may not always consider the important role that play has in helping to foster mental health. Engaging in play affords us numerous benefits, and among those is the ability of play to help in reducing stress and anxiety.
When we play and laugh, we decrease stress hormones, and increase the release of positive endorphins that help our bodies and brains to feel better. In other words, play can be a powerful tool to help you tackle worries and increase enjoyment.
In addition to helping you manage stress, play can help you become closer to those you value. Capturing opportunities to be playful may help us to maximize positive experiences with others. Turn ordinary moments with your partner or family at home into memorable moments with play interactions. Make routines, studying, and household chores more enjoyable with the addition of a game. Through play, we can express ourselves, imagine new scenarios, build relationships, and create solutions.
For more support, schedule 1:1 with a counselor at PRO Medical.
Lindsay believes that counseling should be an encouraging and collaborative process that promotes growth and positive change. She utilizes cognitive-behavioral and client-centered approaches to help clients explore individualized goals, identify personal strengths and abilities, and examine patterns of thought, behavior, and emotion. When working with children, Lindsay utilizes a variety of therapeutic play and art techniques to help create an environment for emotional expression and skill-building.