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Psychology Explains Why Busy People Should Always Make Fun A Priority In Life

Psychology Explains Why Busy People Should Always Make Fun A Priority In Life

Remember when you were still a kid? A pile of blocks became an opportunity to build the world’s highest tower and swings transformed into rockets on their way to the moon. Your imagination brought you all the fun you needed. When you got let out of class for recess, you didn’t just grumble and march your way out – you ran, jumped and screamed! You were always ready to let loose and have fun. You were spontaneous, imaginative, and willing to take more risks than you do now. For many of us as we grow up, we somehow lose touch with our innate playfulness and get the idea that fun is not an essential part of life. Yet, experts in the field of psychology are siding with kids on this one.

According to Brene Brown, PhD,

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“a critically important component of wholehearted living is play. Play is as essential to our health and functioning as rest (but) spending time doing purposeless activities is rare. In fact for many of us it sounds like an anxiety attack waiting to happen.”

It’s unlikely that you would go for weeks without sleeping, but so often we can go a week or more without setting aside time for fun. We live in a culture of productivity, where “getting things done” and “proving ourselves” encompasses so much of our time and mental space. If we fail to complete everything on our to-do list, we feel like we are not enough.

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Playfulness makes you perform better.

In Brown’s book Gifts of Imperfection[1]she explains the toxic effects this “not enough” mind-set and discusses her philosophy of “whole-hearted living – a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.” When we play, we take the pressure off ourselves to perform and seem perfect. The world looks brighter, people seem friendlier, and when we return to our work, we feel refreshed. But taking time to play does far more than just make you feel better in the moment.

Playfulness may also make you more attractive.

Researcher Gary Chick proposed that playfulness in adults may be a means of attracting the opposite sex. He found that males see playfulness in females as a sign of “youthfulness” and “health.” At the same time, females view playful males as “nonaggressive” and therefore more approachable.[2] Both genders seem to find playfulness an attractive quality in each other. So if you are still debating about whether to enjoy a bit of fun, consider it preparation for your next date!

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The good news is play can be simple. You don’t need to go to an amusement park or take a two-week vacation to get your essential “playtime.” The key aspects of play are enjoyment, spontaneity, and a sense of fun! In that sense, play can be almost anything as long as you have fun doing it. Think of those ordinary blocks that became something extraordinary when you played with them as a kid. The same can be true of a walk around the neighborhood or a visit to your local bookstore. Whether you want to reduce your stress or attract a special someone, take time each week for some fun!

Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.com

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Reference

[1]The Gift of Imperfection, Bernard L. De Koven
[2]The Underrated Importance of Being Playful, Bernard L. De Koven

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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