May 13, 2019 3:43 pm
Updated: May 14, 2019 2:30 pm

Play is just as important for adults as it is for children

WATCH ABOVE: Play adds joy to life, relieves stress, releases endorphins and boost energy. And for Luis Serrano, play was fundamental to changing his life. Susan Hay has the story.

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Play adds joy to life, relieves stress and releases endorphins.

Play also has been compared to oxygen – according to the National Institute for play, and for Luis Serrano that statement would be true.

“I lost my job, I was engaged to be married, my relationship crumbled days before my wedding, I had a friend pass away,” said Serrano, founder of FUNdamentals of Play. “All this stuff happened to me at once.”

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Yet through Serrano’s pain, he saw it as a blank-slate opportunity. A time to reinvent himself and he did.

Serrano is the founder and chief fun officer for FUNdamentals of Play. His mission is simple: Allow adults to return to play in order to discover the best version of themselves.

“It’s that combination of using play and games with growth – personal and professional,” said Serrano.

FUNdamentals of Play hosts play shops and play events that liberates individuals and organizations looking to get more out of life.

“I find that confidence is something that I can often struggle with,” said participant Alicia Wood.

“I have social anxiety and so going into different situations can be really uncomfortable. FUNdamentals of Play breaks down barriers and makes me feel okay.”

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“Play is 100 per cent as important for adults as it is for kids,” said Serrano. “And I think we often forget that. We all inherently have it as children but because of pressure and expectations of success, we slowly lose it – it slowly erodes over time. I think only now is play kind of coming back to the forefront of society.”

Play supercharges learning, makes work more productive and fun. It boosts energy and fosters connections with others.

“I had no idea that it would be so much easier to talk to people when there is play involved,” said Wood. “You forget that you’re an adult and everything feels more natural.”

“It started with improv for me,” said Serrano. “I also started researching play – specifically for adults. It literally creates new connections in your brain, gives you new ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise. It helps people learn quicker and retain more of the learnings because you’re connecting it to fun.”

“I think that the biggest thing for me was fearing walking into it and whether or not I was going to be comfortable enough to act like a kid,” said Wood. “But it ended up being so incredible.”

“My authenticity started to shine through when I reconnected with my playful side. Then it started to filter into all parts of my life,” said Serrano.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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