Do you recognize any of these three fun-sabotaging habits from your own life? Clear away these obstacles and enjoy the benefits of good old fashioned fun.
When was the last time you had a really good time? I mean, a lot of fun. Just yesterday? A week ago? Almost a month ago? Times being what they are, unfortunately a lot of folks find themselves dealing with considerable stress and not finding a lot of space in their lives for simply enjoying themselves.
There’s a mountain of research attesting to the fact that having fun is not only enjoyable but also very crucial to your overall health and well-being. We know, for example, that having a real belly laugh on a fairly regular basis can bolster one’s heart health as well as lower overall stress levels. But we’re also learning that other ways of putting joy in your life are important for maintaining your physical and psychological health.
Sometimes people inadvertently put obstacles in the way of enjoying themselves, even when their initial intent is to have a good time. Some of the things folks can do to sabotage themselves include:
- Taking the fun out of recreation.
- The origins of the word literally mean to create again or renew. And what we’re supposed to do during recreation is to refresh and replenish our spirit. Sometimes, however, having fun takes a back seat to other desires. For example, “driven” personalities might release some stress through physical exertion but also might approach their recreation with so much competitive energy (e.g., feeling that the endeavor is not worthwhile if they don’t win) that they simply forget to have fun and just enjoy the experience.
- Holding irrational beliefs about what fun is all about.
- Some folks believe that you can’t have fun unless you have a lot of disposable income to spend on various activities. But in fact, a stroll through a park can be just as stress-relieving and enjoyable as taking in a basketball game or a Broadway play. Others believe they simply don’t have time for fun. But there’s ample evidence that carving out regular time for enjoyable activity increases productivity and efficiency during working hours. There are numerous other things people say to themselves that interfere with their finding the time and space in their lives for fun. But the truth is that fun is an integral part of a healthy and balanced life, so it’s often necessary to challenge the erroneous beliefs that can keep us from making fun a priority.
- Forgetting the you don’t have to be “doing something” to have fun.
- We live in an age in which we are bombarded with various types of stimulation, so it’s easy to get hoodwinked into the notion that we have to be involved in some kind of stimulating activity in order to have fun. Many times, taking time for oneself, like time to read a good book or simply enjoy being outdoors, can be just as stimulating and refreshing as engaging in some more energetic activity. Having fun is not so much a matter of how much is going on, but rather what’s going on inside of you. The ticket is dropping your cares, and savoring the moments. That’s the secret to renewing one’s spirit and feeling alive.
Perhaps you’ve recognized one of your own fun-sabotaging habits from the list above. Hopefully, if you have, you’ll have a good chuckle and remember that life without some fun can really be a drag. So, challenge those erroneous beliefs, take the time, let go of some of things things that weigh you down, and have some fun!
All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .on and was last reviewed or updated by