Playfulness: How Are You Doing?
Are you having enough fun? When was the last time you had a solid hour of sheer enjoyment? When you were so absorbed in moments of merriment, you forgot about everything else?
The grown-up world is all about getting things done. Mark Buchanan says, “Past a certain age our existence is consumed by obligation. Deadlines loom. Assignments are due. Responsibilities are mountainous. Chores are piling up. There’s a list, always, of things to do … So one of the first things to die in adults is playfulness. We are, as a tribe, a grim bunch …”
With our work, families, and home responsibilities, it’s so easy to go through weeks, months, even years without healthful helpings of playfulness.
And did you know that it’s actually bad for you–physically and emotionally– to eliminate fun and play from your regular routine?
Playfulness: It’s Not Just a Fun Idea
For our bodies and minds to stay healthy and at their best, we thrive on the biochemicals that are released when we are involved in pleasure: endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, oh my!
So for those of you who are goal-driven and productivity-oriented, you can achieve far more when your body is fueled by these biochemicals, released during fun!
But apart from all that, wouldn’t you just enjoy having more playfulness in your life?
So why not make this a priority starting today?
Playfulness: Some Grown-Up Playful Ideas
Kids know how to play without ever being taught. But for grown-ups, this ability can slowly fade into nothingness somewhere along the way. However, once you’ve started tasting it again in significant doses, your natural ability kicks back in. Then it starts overflowing into the goings-on of your daily life. Here are some ideas to jumpstart you:
1. Choose playful ideas for your exercise options: get involved in a sport that’s truly fun for you, add enjoyable outdoors activities to your exercise menu, skate, get involved in dance exercise.
2. Take a fun class: art, photography, music, bowling, kite flying… you get the idea!
3. Play games with people. Cards, board games — I’m talking non-electronic. Utilize “Meet-Up” online or as a phone app to find game-playing groups in your area. Or start one and invite your circles.
4. Dance: around your house when no one’s looking, or out with your spouse or friends. It’s a known dopamine – booster.
5. If you have a pet, play with him more often: in the house, out on walks, even swimming!
6. Take an improv class! The theme and goal of these classes is playfulness! And yes, this is my own personal choice. Super fun!
Playfulness: Famous Words
And as you’re incorporating more playfulness into your life, remember the motto of my Australian friend, a contagiously happy person:
Too much fun is just barely enough!