Happiness Break: A Meditation on Playfulness, With Dacher Keltner

The Science of Happiness

Feb 22 2024 • 6 mins

We all have a playful side, and research shows acting on it can help us when we need to move through challenging emotions, manage conflict, and be more creative.

Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/4bxtn9ek

How to Do This Practice:

  1. Find a comfortable position to begin the practice. Focus on breathing deeply.

  2. Think back to a moment of play during your childhood. Recall specific details like your age, what you were doing and who you were with. As you remember, notice how the memory is affecting you in the present moment.

  3. Next, focus on a recent memory of play – maybe with your partner, friends, or family. Fully recall the moment, again bringing to mind specific details. Notice how this memory makes you feel.

  4. Take note of how reflecting on play has affected your breathing. Did it affect the tight areas in your body? How about the relaxed and open ones?

  5. As you refocus your attention on your breath, make a commitment to add play into your busy schedule going forward.

Today’s Happiness Break host:

Dacher Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Check out Dacher’s most recent book, *Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life: *<https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt\](https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt)

More resources from The Greater Good Science Center:

What Happens When We Play (The Science of Happiness Podcast): http://tinyurl.com/mrfm5pj5

Can We Play? http://tinyurl.com/prhv22rf

What Playfulness Can Do for Your Relationship: http://tinyurl.com/n9b3h7e4

For Black Children, Play Can Be Transformative: http://tinyurl.com/mwnfcu26

What memories of play came to your mind? Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

Find us on Spotify: http://tinyurl.com/ycydhyxz

Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: http://tinyurl.com/ycydhyxz

We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.

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