Think Less, Play More


    “Our brains are our biggest liars.” — Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, Shawn Smith

    I recently interviewed Licensed Marriage Family Therapist Shawn Smith on my Connection & Prevention show with Tavia Avila. When I asked Shawn for tips on tending to our mental health and overall well-being, he said, “Our brains are our biggest liars,” and encouraged people to get out of their heads. My response was this is BRILLIANT!  

    I often encourage my clients (and myself!) to spend less time pondering and more time having fun and engaging in therapeutic practices when they feel flooded with thoughts or are trying to make big decisions. Studies have shown that being playful not only helps our youth manage stress, but also adults 

    Recently, my family and I have had significant life changes. At that moment, I paused and asked myself, “how do I want to navigate this?” I responded, “let’s practice being more joyful and playful versus trying to figure out a roadmap.” I assured myself I would get to all my responsibilities, but I would do so easily and create a more playful approach to life. I also reminded myself that I am my #1 responsibility, and if I am not feeling joyful and peaceful, then others around me won’t be either.  

    For January, I set a new intention to think less and play more to strengthen my family’s foundation and rebuild. Within a month, we were smiling more, having more fun, new opportunities presented, and life began to take on a new positive chapter. 

    Below are five ways I exercised more play and less thinking with my family: 

    1. Getting outside (rain or shine) – With all the cold weather and rain, this made for some fun adventures! 

    2. Playing hide-and-seek 

    3. Playing more board games

    4. Watching sports and/or educational shows on places and animals we love

    5. Running, dancing, and flying kites near the ocean

    For more tips and tools on how to shift out of a mindset that is no longer serving and shift into one that supports your overall well-being, tune into Connection & Prevention with Tavia Avila



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