“There’s no fear when you’re having fun.” – Will Thomas
Include these 9 ways to have more fun and your quality of life will improve – it’s as simple as that. Sometimes I watch the news I find myself strangely detached from it all. A serious-looking reporter talks about the new budget or someone is in a rage over misplaced bureaucracy. I am not making light of serious issues such as poverty, war and famine but we can still be effective in improving the world. We can do this irrespective of whether we have a wholesome, happy and compassionate attitude or an aggressive, serious, “let’s get revenge and get mad” attitude. The pressures of life affect most of us and finding ways to interrupt that stress and anxiety is vital if we wish to protect our mental health.
There’s too much pressure and responsibility in our lives
We are so bogged down by our responsibilities that we forget to add some light relief into our busy schedules. This is why some turn to drugs, alcohol and other unhelpful behaviours as a way to cope. The healthier option involves adopting a mindset that encourages freedom from fear, panic and feeling overwhelmed by injecting more fun and laughter. From the research that I’ve done, most people are so driven that they rarely make time to relax and enjoy themselves. Many report that they don’t have time for fun (really?!) and they are in the habit to ticking off the chores on their never-ending to-do list.
That’s just not the way to live if you want to reminisce one day and feel happy about the life you’ve lead. I have never heard a retired person say that they wish they had worked harder and had less fun – it’s usually the other way around. We need to resist the pressures and make time for a more balanced existence.
Here are 9 ways to have more fun
I do believe that some people take themselves far too seriously and forget about perspective. We can all get too caught up in the moment and lose our sense of humour, this is a given but it pays to be more aware of when and how we can lighten up and decrease our stress and tension levels.
Here are some silly, tongue-in-cheek ways to take life less seriously.
1) Skip to work
Okay, this may be a bit extreme for some but it REALLY does work. I work from home so don’t get many opportunities to skip but being silly every now and then (I make silly faces and talk in strange voices to my dog) makes a difference, affects brain chemistry (oxytocin is produced) and allows us a different, friendlier view of the world. Perhaps it takes a pinch of insanity but I believe we all have a little bit of crazy (in the nicest possible way) in us.
2) Play upbeat happy music and sing along
This is a great way to relieve tension. Sing along loudly in traffic and let others see your tonsils. It takes guts to do this but gives us a confidence boost when we act against protocol and resist feeling suppressed by what others might think. Being ourselves in the face of possible judgement or criticism is incredibly liberating.
3) Make a mess for more fun
We’re conditioned to eat with our mouths closed and keep our environments neat and clean. Well, for once I am giving you permission to make a mess! Eat with your fingers if you wish, bake a cake and stick your fingers in the chocolate. Get gooey.
4) Elevator fun
If you go near lifts, press every button as you get in. Take pleasure in the fact that you are forced to slow down..what’s the rush anyway?
5) Walk barefoot more often
Walking barefoot is how we used to get around eons ago. It’s natural and freeing. Feel the grass under your feet or press your toes into the sand. Notice the different sensations – it’s a form of mindfulness (being in the moment) and it allows different neural pathways to be activated. In other words, it’s good for your brain and your senses.
6) Play with children or animals
Letting your inner child out is a great way to relieve stress. We are so conditioned to act like respectable adults and most of us welcome the opportunity to ignore the rules and have some fun. If you find it hard to chill out and be a bit childlike, you may have suppressed this side of your personality for too long.
7) Leave a fun post-it
Write a post-it with a smiley face or a short message such as “Have a great day”, in a lift or at a bank cash machine will lift the spirits of a stranger. You could even leave a post-it with a funny joke on it for someone to find (a family member, friend or stranger might appreciate this). Spreading goodwill is a fantastic mood booster and helps us feel more connected with others and the world around us. Sharing positive energy is a wonderful feeling. Try it some time. You’ll like yourself more too!
8) Smile and/or compliment a stranger
Most people will return the smile and you can congratulate yourself for spreading a bit of positivity and wellbeing in the world. Kindness costs nothing but can bring immense rewards psychologically for the giver and receiver.
9) Laugh often
Watch a funny movie or a comedy show. Have a look at YouTube…do something that you enjoy and that makes you happy. Remind yourself that you can choose your attitude. Do you want to wallow in the negatives or cheer yourself up by focusing on lighthearted things once in a while? The world is often a miserable place. We all make an effort to feel less bogged down by all the negative events around us. When we find more ways to have fun, we elevate the general mood of those around us too. Fun and laughter is infectious.
There are so many ways to have fun, lighten up and see the funny side of life. Do a mood check every now and then. Rate yourself from zero to ten. Zero = angry and serious, ten = happy go lucky. If you are a five or under – use one of the above examples of fun to lighten up. It is better for your heart and for your health.