What do having fun and staying healthy have in common?
A lot more than you might think.
Laughing with friends, throwing a ball for the dog, watching your favorite TV show, or reading a book might be called “leisure activities,” but the health benefits associated with some good old fashioned fun are nothing short of incredible. So the next time you’re feeling guilty for skipping the gym in favor of a reading a good book, keep these 8 health benefits in mind:
1. Reduced Stress
Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone” or the “fight or flight hormone” spikes to unhealthy levels when we’re stressed. It’s intended to save our lives in a do-or-die situation; however, at low levels of stress (when there’s nothing to fight or flee) cortisol can cause weight gain and can even inhibit the body’s ability to fight off infection and heal itself. Having fun and …
When is the last time you really had fun? Think about it—the last time you just let yourself go and had a good time? When did you last forget about all your daily responsibilities and live in the moment? If it’s been too long, one of these assumptions about fun may be holding you back. Read on to discover how to get over them and get yourself out there:
1. You’re worried what other people will think.
You don’t want to look silly in front of other people. You’re afraid they’ll judge you. Guess what? Other people don’t think about you nearly as much as you think they do. Besides, you’re not a mind reader. You don’t know what is going on in other people’s minds. And if they are judging you for being silly and having a good time, then they’re people you don’t need to know anyway. …
Most of us want to have more fun, it just seems like it is not as easy as it used to be. The reasons are many: guilt (because others aren’t having fun), perceived inappropriateness (because others around us cannot have fun) or lack of time (because our commitment to others won’t let us have fun). Yet, science gives an encouraging nod that we need to make time for fun and should perhaps prioritize it.
Since the term “fun” can be ambiguous and is often used in different contexts, let us first look at the standard definition of the word. Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines fun as: amusement, especially lively or playful. Staying true to the definition we generally connect the word fun to things that are entertaining and enjoyable to do. Fun is also sometimes used interchangeably with play — although there is a distinction, as some argue that …
Fun — it can often seem quite elusive. After getting work done, maintaining our most important relationships, managing our finances and our household, and keeping up with the daily responsibilities of being an adult, fun can often seem like the dangling carrot that we never reach.
Fun is whatever you want it to be: recreation, relaxation, adventure. Simply put, fun is doing something for no other reason except it brings you joy.
Fun can feel indulgent, as though it is something we must earn. But it is essential to life, and without it, we can easily feel caught up in an unhealthy cycle of constantly working and crashing.
If you had to name one thing you have done this week simply because it brings you joy, what would it be?
For me, it’s hiking. Hiking is my happy place. Getting lost in the woods, smelling the trees, adventuring down an …