Are you prioritizing fun?

I want to share something I’m serious about– FUN!

I’m a big advocate of making everyday activities FUN. When we’re in a good mood, we get more done, more efficiently.
When we feel good (in a state of joy) ,we do good (we’re kind & compassionate), do well (we’re successful) & feel well (in health).

In her remarkable book “Love Sense,” Sue Johnson shares,


“Positive emotion is a powerful force…happiness is not only a sign of flourishing but also the impulse that creates well-being. Just as sunlight makes gardens grow, joy makes us more alive and adventurous. It moves us forward and outward. Positive emotions turn on our curiosity and desire to engage and explore. They set us up for openness and learning. Joy invigorates us.

Positive emotions remind us that suffering and uncertainty are not the whole story in human life…positive emotions and beliefs fuel resilience and help us bounce back from adversity. They generate even more positive emotions in an upward spiral.”


I strongly value resilience. I think one of the most effective ways to cultivate it is through humor and playfulness. There are inevitably challenges in life, some greater than others, and in my opinion, humor is a great tool that can even help us get through those tough times.

 

Our emotional state can influence our perspective, which has an affect on our subsequent thoughts and behaviors.

When we’re feeling down, sad, frustrated, angry, tired, hungry, overwhelmed, etc. minor obstacles that we encounter throughout the day feel like big challenges and become great setbacks. Our focus becomes narrow and limited.
On the other hand, when we feel good, these small obstacles don’t seem like a big deal and we’re better able to think clearly, assess situations and deal with them creatively and effectively. We may choose to view them as detours that lead to alternative opportunities.  With an attitude of playfulness,  obstacles can even be exciting challenges and turn into a mind game– a puzzle to solve (this is a powerful shift in perception).

Play also supports learning– this is how young children grow, develop and learn… by interacting with their environment in a playful, interactive & explorative way.

In her book “Daring Greatly,” Brene Brown shares that another researcher, also with the last name “Brown” found that the opposite of play is not work… it’s depression.
I think/ the way I understand this is that when we’re in play, we feel present and connected with our inner child & youthful spirit, as well as with people & things around us. Whereas, in a depressive state, we feel disconnect.


Goooooooood news… there are small & simple ways that can be greatly effective in adding joy and playfulness to your day and create fun.
Life is so much more enjoyable when you’re having fun and when you CREATE your own fun.
So much of life is mundane. When you make the mundane fun, life becomes an enjoyable adventure, even when you’re by yourself.
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How can you add more joy, fun, humor and play to your everyday?

In the midst of finals a few weeks ago, I added “dance party” to my to-do lists. 
Sometimes while I wash dishes, I play music I love and the experience becomes so much more enjoyable!


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Last week, while I was feeling mellow, I found a light-up ring –one of those big ones they give out at weddings. I decided to wear it, and activate the light.
It was hard to be serious while wearing such a fun & festive accessory.

How can you feel down while rocking a light up ring???

Sometimes, we need a reminder to let go and lighten up.
In some cases adding or removing something small to or from your environment (mental or physical) can shift your energy.  (Of course, if the problem is bigger, take appropriate steps to address the root cause– talking to someone who’s earned your trust may help)



How can you add an element of fun and playfulness to your to-do list?
Even while you’re writing that to-do list, you can play fun music and enjoy the process.
How about lighting a candle to enjoy while writing? Wearing a fun hat or festive socks?

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While you’re at the gym, how about listening to a fun playlist? Or a great podcast (got this idea from my younger sister Debbie)
How about dancing while you get work done around the house?

I was reminded of the power of this process  when reading the first tip in this article
“Associate something you love with something you want to accomplish.”

The example shared in the article is drinking coffee (something Dan Ariely enjoys), while writing. This makes the task more enjoyable, becomes a conditioned association, and as a result promotes productivity when drinking coffee.

When we enjoy doing what we’re doing, we’re more likely to be intrinsically motivated, and persist for longer.

I have a friend whose enthusiasm always comes through in her writing. It’s hard to feel sad after receiving a txt from her. She uses fun slang, capitalizes and tops it all with her use of emoji.


Saying and writing things like “YIPPEEEE” and “WOOOO” and “YAYYY” feel so cheerful.

The laughter yoga classes that my sister and I lead are all about incorporating fun, joy and playfulness to everyday situations and promoting “playful presence.”
This is a muscle that we can strengthen with practice! The intention is to create a mindset/attitude and environment that support this.


When we’re having fun, we’re better able to deal with challenges and release stress in a healthy way.

Maladaptive stress has negative consequences on cognitive health and functioning, including memory impairment.


Join us this at our biggest event YET, this Sunday.
Nurture your playful & joyful side in a safe space abundant in positivity.
This event is a celebration of my sister’s birthday, a benefit event, and will include (kosher) healthy snacks, spa experiences and cool raffle giveaways.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to SPARKS, a remarkable organization that supports pre and postpartum women.

Here’s the link to reserve–
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/laughter-yoga-spa-benefit-tickets-29270373475

For a little while longer, we’re offering a promotion– $5 off each ticket when you buy 2 or >.
You can “pay it forward”– purchase an extra ticket and invite a friend or date to join you. Give the gift of FUN 😀

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Are you prioritizing your joy? If not, how about asking yourself: “How can I add more fun/joy/ playfulness to this situation or to this day or week?”

 

…It’s a good time to have a good time.