Understanding the Power of Fun

Habits and routines make our lives more manageable, but they also create monotony and sometimes even boredom. How could we liberate ourselves from this monotony? Catherine Price says that the answer lies in understanding the Power of Fun and the potential it has to make us feel more alive.

“That’s the downer of adulthood, right? We’ve trimmed a lot of things out of our life, even things we used to enjoy…because of some belief that we either don’t enjoy them any longer or don’t have the space for them in our lives.”

She suggests making space for true fun by “clearing mental and physical clutter. It means reducing resentment, letting go of unnecessary responsibilities, and creating boundaries to protect your time and attention from people and companies (and apps) trying to steal it from you. It means building stillness and openness into your schedule so that you can have room for more moments of playfulness, connection, and flow…”

In her book, she suggests that her readers use a Permission Slip, with the following words, to make fun happen: ” I give myself permission to think about and prioritize my own fun without feeling selfish or irresponsible and I commit to doing so in a way that feels energizing and enjoyable.”

“Once we understand what True Fun is and what it feels like – and make it a priority – not only will we find it easier to make wiser decisions about how we spend our time and attention at the moment, but the long-term effects will be life-changing.” 

True Fun gets us out of our heads and into our hearts. It enhances our health and well-being by lowering our stress levels and the risk of contracting a lifestyle disease. It increases our resilience and enhances our emotional well-being. It evokes a feeling of being connected to others. When we have fun, we become more loving partners, parents, relatives, and friends, and more amiable colleagues and citizens. Our productivity improves and our creativity expands.

So, how do we introduce more fun into our lives? The author suggests that we, “zero in on what playful, connected flow feels like in our minds and bodies.” Next, we need to get a sense of how much fun we’re currently having, or not having. It might be helpful to start a “Fun Times Journal” in which we write down the activities, people, and circumstances in which we experienced a sense of childlike playfulness.  It would also be useful to identify our “personal fun magnets,” as well as our “anti-fun magnets.”

“Once you’ve done that, you’ll find yourself with less time to spend time on screens – and less of a desire to spend time on them, to begin with – because you’ll have a long list of things you’d rather be doing instead. Your phone will have been transformed in your mind from a temptation that you must resist, to an obstacle that’s getting in the way of how you actually want to live.”

“If we want to feel fully alive, it’s essential that we try new things.” She has some wonderful ideas, such as spending time writing down our responses to, “I’m interested in learning to…Things I used to do…I’d love to…I’m curious about…”

Our biggest stumbling block, as adults, is the fear of looking foolish. We are so plagued by perfectionism, that we have forgotten that if we’re an absolute novice at something, we’re unlikely to master it on our first attempt.

“People don’t want to have a boring life or even a boring conversation. They’re just risk-averse. If you create an environment where there’s no reason to be afraid, all of a sudden things loosen up.”

So, pursue your passions, interests, and hobbies, seek and cultivate moments of delight and laughter as you would have done when you were a child, and keep at it.

The next time you find yourself scrolling and staring down at your phone, remember, that you just might miss the signal that it’s time to play. You wouldn’t want to miss that opportunity would you, now that you’ve been reminded that it is such a powerful source of life-giving energy?

“I sometimes compare play to oxygen – it’s all around us, yet it goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it’s missing.”   

Author: Michelle Bexiga
Mind/Body Consultant for Dr Kathleen & Team

Interested to learn more about making time for fun in your life? Experiencing obstacles for giving yourself this playtime?  Book in with Michelle Bexiga, our Mind/Body Consultant for a session to help explore and overcome any obstacles:  http://www.drkathleen.co.nz/team/michelle/