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Play Healing Parent Podcast

Apr 10, 2024

The Relationship of Play and High Performance with Michael Allison | Polyvagal Theory & Mental Wellness

In a compelling episode of the Play Healing Podcast, host Debi John is joined by Michael Allison from the PlayZone, diving deep into the nuanced relationship between competition and play. Michael sheds light on the physiological underpinnings that differentiate our approach to these states, offering insights into why we might gravitate towards one over the other. This conversation unpacks the importance of fostering a safe physiological state for play, the journey from a competitive to a playful mindset, and how we can navigate the discomfort associated with embracing playfulness.

Key Topics Discussed:

  • Understanding Competition vs. Play: Michael Allison illuminates the physiological and psychological differences between competitive and playful states, emphasizing the role of safety in embracing play.

  • Transitioning from Competition to Play: Strategies for shifting mindset and physiological state from competitive to playful, acknowledging the challenges and potential discomfort involved.

  • Fostering a Safe Space for Play: The critical importance of creating environments where individuals feel secure enough to engage in play, and how such environments facilitate learning, growth, and healing.

  • Personal Journey and Insights: Michael and Debi share anecdotes from their work and personal experiences, illustrating the transformative power of understanding and applying these concepts in real-life scenarios.

  • Practical Advice for Embracing Playfulness: Tips and exercises for individuals looking to incorporate more play into their lives, regardless of their starting point.

About Michael Allison:

Michael Allison is the visionary behind the PlayZone, where he explores and teaches the intricate balance between play and competition through a physiological lens. With a background in coaching and a deep understanding of the polyvagal theory, Michael is passionate about helping people rediscover the joy and healing potential of play. His work emphasizes the significance of creating safe physiological states that encourage playfulness, aiming to enrich lives by fostering deeper connections with ourselves and others.

About Debi John:

Debi John, the host of the Play Healing Podcast, is an advocate for the therapeutic power of play in personal and community healing. With expertise in play therapy, Debi curates conversations that highlight the role of play in overcoming life’s challenges and enhancing relationships. Through her podcast, she seeks to inspire her listeners by sharing stories, insights, and practical strategies for incorporating her PAUSE, PLAY, CONNECT Philosophy into daily life, emphasizing its importance for emotional and psychological well-being.

Join us in this enlightening conversation that not only delves into the complexities of competition and play but also provides valuable insights and practical tips for nurturing a playful spirit in all areas of life.