Looking at both definitions and the information the respondents gave during the interview, I believe that having those negative thoughts causes mental health problems. In this figure, I would say they lack in self-supportiveness, positive thoughts, and a positive self-image. Now, I am wondering: could this be solved by playing?
What does play?
Play improves creativity, happiness, and focus since it is encouraging our prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex lies at the front of the brain and is involved by cognitive and emotional functions as social behavior, the ability to live purposefully and to cope with emotions. With playing we develop this part of our brain because play unconsciously triggers us to make connections, be creative, and to use different elements of our body and mind (Scherder, 2019). In any category of figure 1, play can be used as a way to improve health. However, looking at the negative thoughts that Marina and Stephanie experiencing, play is not enough. These thoughts stem from beliefs. Beliefs are so deeply intertwined in our soul, that they determine large parts of our behavior, feelings, and therefore our health. The effects of the beliefs, either positive or negative, are expressing themselves in the emotional health someone experiences. If one of the categories is out of balance, the other categories will be unbalanced as well.
Influence of beliefs
As I already said, beliefs, have a massive role in our behavior. Looking at Stephanie’s thought: “I constantly have those thoughts like: can I do that? Isn’t that to exciting and do I have enough energy for it?” her belief keeping her from doing it. Beliefs can originate from early childhood influences, such as parents or experiences with, for example, teachers, friends, family, or earlier relationships. All these experiences reflecting back to us as an image of ourselves, the so-called ‘self-image’. Even though this self-image is formed over the years, it might be a real or distorted view of who we really are. Nevertheless, based on this view, we develop either a positive or negative self-image (Cleveland Clinic medical professional, 2016). Looking at figure 1, the way our self-image is formed is expressed in our emotional wellness.Looking at figure 1, the way our self-image has been formed is expressed in our emotional wellness. Seeing it from the perspective of my third blogpost, circles also could play a role in this. Because, when someone has developed negative thoughts which creates a negative self-image, a pattern can arise in which one keeps criticizing himself. This way of thinking will become more and more automatic until you lose control of it at some point (Vitaal gezond, 2020). This expression and the feeling of losing control gives a constant feeling of restlessness. This affects our spiritual wellness because it brings the inner calmness out of balance.
The restless feeling and the beliefs people have, are so deep and united in someones’ soul. When I look at the statements of Marina and Stephanie by this new information, I would say it is needed to improve their inner calmness, by, for example, changing their self-image to a realistic and positive one, instead of a negative and distorted view.
Then there is still the question, why can’t this be done by play?