Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Healthy fun.

Isn’t it amazing that some of us need a prod to have fun? Why in the world should we need a push or a reminder to do things we enjoy? (Personally I’d rather get a good push on the swing set!) We need to stop believing that working harder equals doing better. We need to stop believing that if we’re enjoying ourselves we’re not really working. Some of these outdated beliefs come from our parents and grandparents. Others are passed on by society.

The world travels at such a fast pace, many of us have trouble keeping up. We feel compelled to have the newest gadgets, the latest products and to do something great, to be noticed. During all that hustle and bustle we get overworked and stressed. We forget that work and home and computers are just stuff. We forget to relax, play, smile and enjoy our journey.

Fun is healthy for us in so many ways. Fun activities often include movement, whether we’re playing a game of basketball with our kids, dancing to some music, or riding the Ferris wheel at the state fair. Fun also relieves stress. Science has proven over and over that laughter lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system and produces endorphins that elevate our mood. How much more incentive do we need?

Fun helps us mentally too. Experiments have proven that after viewing a funny movie we are more flexible and open to new ideas. We’re more likely to view circumstances in a positive light. Yet still we are held back by fear of being seen as foolish. As someone who has suffered that myself, let me reassure you. You will feel silly, stupid and like you’re wasting your time. People will tell you so. Don’t listen to them!

After consistently scheduling fun into my life and reading and learning about the many scientific benefits of laughter, positive thinking and an optimistic outlook, I can tell you I regret far more how long it took me to loosen up, than whether a few friends and relatives think I’m weird. Those people are usually much too serious themselves, and wouldn’t know a good time if it bit them on the butt.

Fun helps me every day to be grateful for what I have (and sometimes what I don’t). It enables me to enjoy a movie on a rainy day or my favorite CD in a traffic jam. It lets me celebrate every family get together, even if they only come every couple of years. Fun helps me savor my good times and reminds me that those bad days aren’t as numerous as I thought.

Fun is a great motivator too. Every time you have a chore you don’t want to do, or a job you don’t like, you can remember that 1 hour of cleaning now will give you 5 hours of free fun time this week. And that job you dislike pays for your action movies, concert tickets and new shoes. When you are aware of the numerous benefits of fun, I think you’ll begin to look for it and put more into your life.

Swingset soaring
Originally uploaded by khosey1

1 comment:

Peter said...

How very true - what is life without fun? I always love watching little kids play... they don't have a care in the world and just live completely in the moment having the time of their lives.