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7 Reasons Why You Deserve to Have Fun Every Day

7 Reasons Why You Deserve to Have Fun Every Day

How do you feel when you hear the word “FUN”?  Believe it or not, each of us reacts quite differently to the idea of having fun.  Some folks light up at the thought of jumping on a trampoline, splashing in the waves, or bowling with friends.  But, others see “fun” as a frivolous activity that does nothing more than slow progress.

funClem Onojeghuo/ Unsplash.com

In my early-married years, I was definitely in the second category.  I worked a full-time job, had a small child, and felt like there was always something that I needed to be doing just to survive.  Given the opportunity, I would always skip fun things in order to get more work done.  Is anyone surprised I ended up with high blood pressure?  As it turned out, I had to learn the hard way that all work and no play really is a problem.  In fact, today I’m going to share 7 incredibly wonderful reasons why you deserve to have “fun” every single day of your life

  1. Reduce Stress.

    I haven’t met anyone yet who has a stress-free life.  One of my all-time stressful moments was finding out both of my elementary aged children had lice and while standing knee-deep in laundry, a pipe burst.  I stood there itching like crazy while water sprayed all over my face.  Not to mention I had to cancel plans to go out with the girls, which I rarely made time to do.

    When we have fun naturally or make a point to add fun things to our life, stress levels quickly decrease.  At a former workplace, we used to play “Wrap the Crap” around the holiday season.  This is a variation of a gift exchange but instead of buying something new, we wrapped something we already had but didn’t want.  Some gifts even reappeared year after year so everyone could enjoy the fun.  After hysterically laughing over a “Fantasy Man” T-shirt, an extra toilet seat, or a dolphin lamp, everyone felt more relaxed and at peace

  2. Improved Coping Abilities.

    Coping abilities are the way we handle stressful situations so we can survive them.  In healthcare, we often use laughter to cut the tension.  Instead of focusing on the fact that a medical crisis is about to occur, someone will crack a joke.  Believe it or not, we all work better after the tension is cut!

    There are both positive and negative ways to cope.  Healthy ways include exercise, open communication, working on hobbies, praying, or playing with a pet.  Negative coping may involve blaming others, overeating, abusing drugs or alcohol, gambling, or excessive shopping.  By intentionally having “fun” everyday, you’ll find your coping choices are healthier.  So, instead of running out to the local casino, you might enjoy some woodworking or cross-stitch after bowling with coworkers or friends.

  3. Relationship Building.

    The majority of our day we need to practice “adulting.”  We need to behave as if we are grown up and with the program.  This often forces us to engage in workplace competition in order to out-shine coworkers.  Or perhaps to need to run such a tight ship in order to turn a profit, that you feel like you’ll be fired for cracking a smile.  While those behaviors and actions may be necessary at times, they don’t do much for relationship building.

    In order to develop deeper bonds with people we need to be able to let down our guard.  We need to be able to enjoy the company of others and do things that are rewarding.  There are people like me who actually enjoying accomplishing tasks.  In those cases, spending time raking leaves under the sunshine could be considered fun.  But only if all those involved actually agree on the fun nature of the work.  Otherwise, it’s probably best to stick with universally fun things.  Follow this link for some great play ideas in a variety of settings.

  4. Higher Energy Levels.

    Having fun is a lot like rest to the body.  Doing something relaxing that you enjoy takes you away from the hustle and bustle of life.  It gives your mind a break and allows you a chance to replenish your energy levels.

    Occasionally, I enjoy playing computer games that give me something to strive for but don’t really matter.  I’ve enjoyed playing Candy Crush, Gardens of Time, Words with Friends, and my latest favorite Juice Jam.  There’s nothing quite like recharging by matching colors and patterns in order to score points!

  5. Positive Role-Modeling.

    Our actions do speak louder than our words.  So, what are your actions saying?  Some of us have children or grandchildren watching our behavior.  Perhaps you have coworkers or friends keeping a close eye on you.  What types of behavior are you interested in modeling?  Do you want to show others how to be a workaholic?  How about living filled with anxiety and stress?

    No, we want to show others that life is worth living.  We want them to see us enjoying every day.  We want them to see us having fun, relaxing, recharging, and making a difference.  Don’t miss out on an opportunity to demonstrate how to live life successfully and to find rewards every day!

  6. Improved Memory and Concentration.

    Having fun reduces your cortisol and increases your serotonin levels.  When this happens, we are able to think better.  Our ability to focus improves and we can concentrate on things that require deep thinking.  Low serotonin levels are often related to depression, and medications can be prescribed that help increase these levels.

    After the birth of my children, I suffered from post-partum depression and one of my symptoms was difficulty concentrating.  When my physician order a medication designed to increase my serotonin levels, the very first thing I noticed was a sensation that the fog lifted and I could think again.  We don’t all need medications though.  Having regular fun can have the same beneficial effect!

  7. Sleep Better.

    Did you know that having fun by relaxing, playing, laughing, or doing anything that you find enjoyable could help you sleep better?  In fact, if you are able to do these things close to bedtime, they have an even greater benefit.

    Having a good time helps reduce stress, which then decreases those cortisol levels we previously mentioned.  Cortisol is something we need if we’re fighting off a hungry bear or need to lift a car off someone who is pinned underneath.  But, we don’t need it when it’s time to sleep.  So, have some fun every day, sleep well, and have pleasant dreams 🙂

Reflection Questions:

  1.  Which of the 7 health benefits of having more fun is most appealing to you?
  2.  What is one way you can increase the fun in your life today?
  3.  Are there things that you enjoy yet never do, or things you always wanted to try?  How can you plan to get that into your life?

References

Benefits of Play for Adults – Helpguide.org

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