What Is Your Play Nature

Identify Your Play Nature

By looking at what we’ve found playful in the past, we can develop a sense of our play nature – the types of activities or situations that engage us and are deeply satisfying i.e., playful. 

Start this exercise by spending some time thinking about what you have done over and over as a child or as an adult, the activities that you have been naturally drawn to because you feel/felt free and happy doing them. Was/is it …

  • Reading … comic books or novels?
  • Building … a treehouse or a team?
  • Moving … biking or working out?
  • With others or on your own?
  • Were they mental, physical or both? 

Try to remember situations where you felt free, happy or in flow; identify what the core activity was that created that play state. As part of this memory, if visual images spring to your mind’s eye, amplify them, let your associations to them flow. 

Some people have a hard time remembering what they did for play, and even more have difficulty remembering the activity in enough detail that they can really re-experience the feeling it gave them. It’s not easy, but it’s worth putting in the time to do so.  Here’s what Dr. Brown suggests,

“Go back to your earliest emotion-laden, visual memories of a situation that produced a sense of pleasure for you; there you’ll find what was (and is) natural for you; it may also indicate where your talents lie.” 

Download this PDF of questions to help you identify your play nature!

The questions in the PDF above will help you understand what your unique play nature is and how it has manifested itself as you have matured. Next, start to identify what you could do in your current life that might let you re-create those playful feelings. 

A lack of play should be treated like malnutrition – it’s a health risk to your body and mind. Find the play that feeds your soul, build an environment where people understand your needs, and get out there and make it a priority to stay play-nourished.