Play Therapy ~ Why Physical Activity Can Help Anxious, Depressed, and Isolated Children
We live in an anxiety-ridden world today. Studies have shown that more kids and teenagers are suffering from anxiety and depression than ever before in history. Fittingly enough, other psychological studies are linking this rise in anxiety to a lack of play in everyday schedule for the average kid today. Every doctor and medical professional agrees – play is essential for the development of physical and cognitive skills and practice in children.
Therefore, something like play therapy, in which play is used to help children work through their mental disorders, is on the rise today. We are big advocates for this kind of treatment, which is why we’re going to look at the paramount importance of play in a child’s life below.
Benefits of Play Therapy
1. Emotional Processing:
When children are young, or even in their teen years, they are sometimes unable to process complex emotions. If something terrible happens to them, or they suffer from severe isolation or bullying, they lack the skills to process those feelings healthily. They need a way to get those feelings out in the open. Play therapy has demonstrated that from children, playing is a way for them to get their expressions out in the open, in a social setting.
2. Behavioral Regulation:
Furthering the first point, when kids are unable to process trauma and other grievances they begin to lash out and act irrationally. As their emotions bubble, they can recede and spiral downwards. With play as an outlet, now these kids can regulate their behavior and check their personalities, preventing them from acting meanly. Therefore, they are more likely to make and retain friends.
3. Independent Confidence:
When a child is left alone to play or create, they develop their own self-confidence. When they stand to the side and watch their parent plan out their schedule every day, they never have a chance to develop their own self-confidence. This self-confidence can only be attained through the completion of a play activity on their own. For example, advancing through our martial arts program will teach children that they are equipped with every tool they need to succeed today.
4. Personal Creativity:
Every individual is unique, which is what makes people so special. Every child is unique as well, and needs to have the ability to express themselves. With play, children can approach each activity or program according to their own wants and needs, which will provide them with an ability to hone in on their personal creativity skills. In turn, this will make them feel more confident in their abilities.
AKKA Karate USA
Here at AKKA Karate USA, we see how integral play and expression is to the development of a happy and depression-free child. That’s why our martial arts programs are designed with creative expression in mind, as we work with each child individually to ensure they are growing and flourishing. If your child suffers from anxiety, they might just need some time to play each day.