Over the past couple of years, I have used Halloween to remind people that one of the lessons that we learn during this holiday is that when we experience fear, even in the form of horror movies and pranks we also learn that we come out the other side. We learn to recognise the physiological feelings as well as the psychological ones and in the midst of it all most of us mange to have some fun.
So as I sat to write a challenge this week, I had a choice focus on the fear or focus on the fun. Having just enjoyed the cork jazz festival, my mind is very definitely focused on the fun. So why is fun so important?
The research evidence is quite clear when we have fun it impacts positively on all areas of our life. It improve our relationships both at work and personally. Indeed Couples who take the time to have fun are happier. Fun also makes us smarter as it helps to improve our memory and concentration.
And that’s before we get to the knowledge that fun reduces our levels of stress. There is more than a grain of truth in the old saying that laughter is the best medicine. And if you can make the exercise you take be fun rather than a chore all the better.
So, my challenge to you, regardless of everything that is happening around you is to go and have some fun. However I also want you to be very aware of your stress level before you engage in that fun activity and again when the fun is over just take a couple of minute to be fully aware of how stressed you feel both physically and in your head.
Then, acknowledging how it helps then take time to consider how you can integrate fun activities into each day. This would be powerful in terms of supporting you through any stresses that life throws at you.
Remember in the words of Bernard Shaw:
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old;
We grow old because we stop playing”