Discover why having fun is important for a more joyful and vibrant existence, and how you can start creating more fun in your own life today!
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to let the pursuit of fun slip through the cracks. In fact, for many people, fun might feel like a distant memory… Something frivolous that only children get to prioritize.
But, it’s so important to recognize that embracing fun isn’t just a luxury; it’s necessary for our overall well-being! Making time and space for fun and joy is an essential part of creating a life you love.
In this post, we’ll dive into the psychology of fun and explore the many proven benefits of prioritizing joy.
The Science of Having Fun
Before we explore the benefits of making time for fun, let’s first unravel the psychology behind it.
You might not know it, but fun is deeply rooted in our cognitive and emotional processes. Fun is associated with the release of the “feel good” neurotransmitter, dopamine.
When this chemical messenger is released during enjoyable activities, it does amazing things:
- Reinforces the desire to repeat things that feel enjoyable
- Enhances the brain’s ability to learn and retain new skills and information
- Naturally increases motivation and resilience in the face of challenges
- Helps support better moods and lessens emotions ups and downs
- Improves sleep, focus, and attention
This means that having fun is more than just a fleeting moment – it’s a pathway to enhanced well-being!
7 Benefits of Having Fun
1. Boost Your Emotional Well-being
In a world brimming with responsibilities, taking time for ourselves often takes a backseat. But, engaging in activities we enjoy triggers the release of endorphins – nature’s stress relievers. This can help alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression, fostering a more positive outlook on life.
Having fun is also a source of eustress. Eustress is the type of stress that comes with new, exciting, or positive experiences. Things like riding a roller coaster, trying something new, or achieving a goal cause this type of beneficial stress.
Research has shown that eustress increases optimism and excitement about life, while also decreasing levels of “bad stress”- the kind that contributes to mental and physical decline.
How to Experience this Benefit: To up your own levels of eustress, make time to try new activities or pursue new goals in your existing hobbies or passions. Consider making a list of things you’ve always wanted to try or accomplish. Then challenge yourself to see which things you can make happen this year, this month, or even this week!
2. Stronger Social Connections
Having fun can serve as a powerful tool for nurturing relationships. Participating in enjoyable group activities provides opportunities to bond with friends and loved ones, fostering deeper connections.
Strong social connections and enjoyable experiences with groups of people have been linked to a longer life, better mental and physical health, and lower stress.
How to Experience this Benefit: Schedule time with friends or loved ones just for fun. You might try a game night, trying a new activity like dancing, painting, or even taking a class together. Look for opportunities to involve the people you enjoy with the activities you enjoy, no matter what those may be!
3. Better Problem Solving & More Creativity
Did you know that engaging in fun activities can make you smarter?
It’s true! Studies show that taking a lighthearted approach to any new experience or skill boosts focus. When a learning experience is fun, dopamine increases, improving your mood and enhancing your memory, problem-solving, and creativity.
That means you’re more likely to learn faster and remember more of what you learned!
How to Experience this Benefit: Look for opportunities to learn new skills in ways that bring in an element of fun. Try learning experiences that are gamefied (include elements of gameplay, like score keeping, competition, or reward), hands-on activities, or group learning.
4. Reignite the Spark
The idea of prioritizing fun might seem indulgent, but it’s essential for a fulfilling life. Some of us have put fun at the bottom of our to-do lists for so long, we may have forgotten what a joyful life can feel like.
Rediscovering activities that bring joy can reignite a sense of passion and purpose. Engaging in hobbies you once loved or exploring new interests can inject vitality into your everyday experience.
How to Experience this Benefit: Experiment! Start by setting aside one or two blocks of time each week for fun. Then, be willing to experiment with what fun could look like or feel like in your life. Re-visit things you used to find enjoyable, or try new things that you might. Just the process of experimenting will add a layer of excitement and anticipation into your life!
5. Improve Your Health & Live Longer
Doing things that are enjoyable, laughing, and making time to relax aren’t just good for you in theory, they also have significant health benefits.
Studies have shown that adults who laugh more and who take time to play video games, do outdoor activities, or have enjoyable hobbies live longer. These people have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and infection!
How to Experience this Benefit: Schedule fun in the same way you do your other health routines like exercise, sleep, and healthy eating. Or, if you know you need to build more health routines into your life, consider starting with a regular time to do things you enjoy.
Similarly, you can pursue your health goals in ways that feel more enjoyable. For example, if running on the treadmill feels boring, consider joining a class, trying new activities like rebounding, or integrating a game-based activity into your routine, like pickleball, tennis, or even golf.
6. Greater Resilience
Dedicating time to have fun and experience joy builds resilience for times when things feel difficult. People who regularly have a good time are more able to navigate rough patches and overcome challenges.
Fun increases emotional resilience and leads to reduced stress, even in the midst of chaos!
How to Experience this Benefit: Let your pursuit of fun be pressure-free. When things are overwhelming, challenging, or difficult, do what you can with what you have. Know that there’s no right or wrong answer for what counts as “fun”, and your joyful moments are impactful no matter how small they may seem.
7. Helps You Experience Flow & Alignment
\When you choose to have fun doing things you love, you increase your internal state of flow. That happy place energetically aligns you to attracting more of what you love in all other areas of your life.
How to Experience this Benefit: Imagine a future version of yourself who is living a life filled with fun, happiness, and joy. Then, to help you learn how to create more intentional fun in your life, ask yourself: “How would that version of me enjoy this day? What fun would they pursue? Where would they find joy?” Use the answers as inspiration for how you can build more fun into your life!
Making Room for Joy
Integrating fun into your life doesn’t require a complete overhaul.
I invite you to start small and set aside manageable chunks of dedicated time for enjoyable activities.
Whether it’s a painting class, a dance session, or a book club, these moments of fun can have a ripple effect on your entire life!
By prioritizing fun, you’re not only nurturing yourself, but also cultivating a more vibrant and joyful existence.
Remember, embracing fun isn’t a departure from responsibility; it’s a step toward well-being.
If you want to supercharge your transformative journey toward a more vibrant and joyful existence, I have a special gift for you!
I’ll teach you the 3 must-haves for creating a life you absolutely love and teach you the foundational principles you need to start creating your dream life today.