Category: Anthony DeBenedet

Playful Intelligence | Quote 02601

Humans are creatures of habit. We love our ruts and routines, and for the most part, they help us manage and stay on top of our adult responsibilities. But when we become too closely tied to our schedules and routines, we risk becoming numb. Adding tidbits of spontaneity to our routines can help protect us from going through the motions, emotionless. Spontaneous actions also help build our psychological flexibility because when we are engaging in spontaneous activity, we are venturing into the unknown, which demands a mindset that is flexible and open.

Playful Intelligence | Quote 02598

Though imagination is not the first thing that comes to mind when we consider empathizing with another person, it is actually the seed of empathy. When we use our imagination to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we are better able to understand his or her situation and establish deeper connections.

Playful Intelligence | Quote 02523

At the neuronal level, when your imagination is reframing, Hebb’s Law of neuroscience is being disturbed—which is a good thing. The law says: neurons that fire together, wire together. This means that if you always use the same tricks to solve problems, or always assess situations through the same worn-out, customary frames, those connections in your brain become rigid. In other words, if you continue to react to difficult situations with fear, then difficult situations will always wire with fear-based emotions in your brain. Imaginative reframing disturbs and helps unsync this.

Playful Intelligence | Quote 02519

Understanding the neuroscience of imaginative reframing helps explain why it’s so powerful. When you use your imagination to reframe situations, the left lateral, prefrontal cortex in your brain is activated. This region acts like a mental sketchpad, representing information not currently in your environment. When the sketchpad is opened, activity in other areas of your brain—specifically the ones that control emotions—dampens. This allows you to thrive in stressful experiences and not succumb to the challenging emotions that may arise.

Playful Intelligence | Quote 02513

Unlike research on playfulness in children, research on playfulness in adults is limited. The studies that do exist, however, have appropriately examined behavioral qualities that are commonly associated with playfulness: being adventurous, creative, energetic, humorous, imaginative, outgoing, sociable, spontaneous, and many more. Nearly forty qualities have been linked to adult playfulness.

Playful Intelligence | Quote 02465

Consider for a moment what would happen if, during an interaction with someone, you were perpetually asking yourself, “How does this person feel right now? Where, exactly, is he or she mentally and emotionally?” Your imagination would be on fire! You’d also be exhausted and probably wouldn’t have the greatest interaction. But taking just a few seconds to imagine yourself in another’s shoes, both before and during an interaction, can help set the tone for a mutually beneficial experience.

Playful Intelligence | Quote 02419

…spending time exercising one’s imagination—by doing things that may seem nonproductive or just plain old fun—makes a big difference when we need to reframe a stressful situation or solve a challenging problem. In other words, activities that exercise the imagination (such as reading fiction, painting, or playing imaginative games) strengthen our imaginations for when we need them most.

Playful Intelligence | Quote 00600

If we rely too much on our past experiences to solve a problem, we allow the brain’s connections that have always fired together to continue firing (and wiring!) together. This is how we get stuck. But when we exercise our imaginations to reframe a problem, we open our minds, and our wiring, to a new way of looking at the world. It’s almost as if we’re inviting the body’s processes to work a little differently, helping us to function better and grow and learn from our stressors.

Playful Intelligence | Quote 02328

Unlike research on playfulness in children, research on playfulness in adults is limited. The studies that do exist, however, have appropriately examined behavioral qualities that are commonly associated with playfulness: being adventurous, creative, energetic, humorous, imaginative, outgoing, sociable, spontaneous, and many more. Nearly forty qualities have been linked to adult playfulness.

Playful Intelligence | Quote 02320

At the neuronal level, when your imagination is reframing, Hebb’s Law of neuroscience is being disturbed—which is a good thing. The law says: neurons that fire together, wire together. This means that if you always use the same tricks to solve problems, or always assess situations through the same worn-out, customary frames, those connections in your brain become rigid. In other words, if you continue to react to difficult situations with fear, then difficult situations will always wire with fear-based emotions in your brain. Imaginative reframing disturbs and helps unsync this.

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