Take a moment right now to think about the current level of fun you’re having in your life. Seriously, take a second to rate how much fun you’re having on scale of 1 to 10. What number did you give yourself? Need to up your fun level? Read on to learn the critical importance of having fun and why increasing your fun will lead to a better life.
Having fun. Why increasing your fun will lead to a better life
Are you having too much fun, too little or, just enough? It’s important to strike a balance. Too much fun and you won’t be productive; too little fun and your life may lack fulfillment.
And let’s clarify “fun” for the purposes of this article. True fun activities are ones that are frivolously joyful. They have no agenda. And, they are things you do for the sake of doing them. Plus, they don’t produce any other outcome but to make you laugh or smile.
Fun is not a priority for many people
Most people don’t make fun a priority, though having fun is CRUCIAL. Most people put responsibility and their survival needs first. Technically though, isn’t fun a survival need? Ever thought of it this way? Think about it, if you’re always doing what you have to do (and not necessarily want to do) you’ll suck your levels of joy and happiness dry. You’ll mentally drain yourself. The joy you experience from living your life will dwindle.
Is a life worth living if it doesn’t inspire you? Really. Take a moment to consider that question. Isn’t the entire point of life to be happy. To enjoy what you’re up to? To feel fulfilled?
Why fun is critical to happiness
Research backs up these claims. Here’s why increasing your fun will lead to a better life…
Having fun amplifies your joy and fulfillment levels
This is probably a pretty obvious result that comes from having fun. And it’s an important one. If you ask most people what they want most in life the response is commonly: “To be happy”. That’s the entire reason for living. Having fun raises your happy factor. It has you produce more positive emotions, the ones linked to your pleasure centers of the brain.
When you engage in fun activities that get you in a state of feeling good, your brain learns to activate the pathways that produce positive emotions faster. The more you have fun the easier it is for you to live in the positive emotional states we all crave.
Having fun increases your productivity
When you have fun you create more energy. You physically rev up your body. Most people don’t understand that, “the more energy you make the more you have”. Think about it. Simply jumping up and down for a few minutes has you feel more full of energy. So, when you have fun you can actually create more physical energy, rather than drain it (which is what activities that are not fun do tend to do).
When you have fun, your brain goes into a relaxed state called your Default Mode Network. During this state your brain makes critical connections. Creativity happens when you allow your mind to lock into it’s DMN mode versus its – neuroscience term here – Task Mode Network. This is what state it’s in when you use your rational thinking brain regions to do activities that are necessary, but aren’t exactly “fun”.
Having fun has you create miraculous things in life and business
Because you allow your brain to go into creative states when you’re having fun, naturally you bring that innovation into your life. You start to see things you haven’t before. New pathways of action become obvious. Your ability to generate ideas is more of an asset in a today’s information-packed world than it ever has been before.
Having fun builds human connection and gives you a social edge
Many fun activities will cause you to interact with other people. Being open to new people, new communities will also help you foster great friends or business relationships.
Ask yourself this question: Is it more enjoyable to be around people who you consider fun, interesting and maybe a bit quirky, or people who are all serious all the time. Being fun gives you a social edge. You bring interesting ideas to the table. If you have more fun, and become more fun by nature, people will want to be around you.
Having fun gives you existential meaning
Fun seems purposeless, but it is in having fun that you connect to yourself in deep ways. Playing connects you to life. It connects you to yourself. It’s in moments of fun where you start to see an new level of life unfold.
Real fun versus fun fallacies
Most people don’t really know how to have fun. You’ve been conditioned by living in a world where external gratification and fast fixes are a priority. There’s a difference between fun activities that cause you to smile and be giddy just thinking about them versus fun activities that drain your energy. Some activities in your current “fun list” might even wreak havoc and get in the way of what you truly want in life.
There are also activities are fun in moderation. For instance, cooking and eating a beautiful meal with a partner is a fun activity. Food is fun in this way. However, craving and devouring large portions of food without appreciating it makes food no longer fun.
The same goes with alcohol. It’s fun to share a glass or two of wine in a social setting with friends. But there’s a fun fallacy that comes with alcohol. For instance, consuming large amounts is fun at the time, but it drains your energy and messes with your mood. Fun that has a delayed negative payoff isn’t real fun.
Real fun activities are things you do for no reason at all. Painting a picture. Kayaking out on a lake. Playing tennis. Shopping for a new outfit. Playing an instrument. Sing! Come up with a roller derby name for yourself! Learn something totally new that’s something you’ve always want to explore.
How to have more fun
Let your freak flag fly
Be silly. Really silly. Be totally weird in the comfort of your home. With yourself and with anyone you live with. Shake your booty. Start the day with dancing. You can be fun anytime. You can bring fun anywhere you go. A simple way to connect to your fun side is to think of a fun time you had. Close your eyes and bring yourself back to that moment. It will put you in an immediate mental state of fun.
Do things without a reason
When you think “this is a useless thing to do”, it’s probably fun and very useful. Having that thought is a signal that you should go explore that pointless hobby or activity. You may find that pointless activities are the most valuable uses of your time. I dare you to try it.
Connect to your kid-self for inspiration
What were you obsessed with when you were a kid? Did you love to sing? Dance? Read? Or were you one of those kids that was always on the go, running around expending energy and playing sports? Think about what you loved and start there. Go do an activity that is in line with something you used to love doing, but don’t do anymore.
Spend time around or interacting with kids or animals
This is sure to unleash your fun side. Kids and animals are often a direct line to getting into a mood of play and fun. It’s natural to them because they haven’t developed or don’t have the rational brain regions that adults have. (In other words, they don’t have a boring switch)
What can you do that is fun today? What activity can you plan that is fun to do next week. Inject some frivolous fun into your life right away and see for yourself the difference it makes. Your world might just get a bit more colorful.
Related articles to this “Having Fun” post:
- Why doing nothing will make you more productive
- Life could be a dream if you let it
- How to get out of a funk
- Feeling lost? Here’s what to do.