Credit: Dario Valenzuela, Unsplash

Why having fun for fun’s sake is good for us

Sharing jokes, using our imaginations and jumping round the garden all have two things in common: they’re fun, and they’re good for us.

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Why Having Fun for Fun’s Sake is Good for Us

Between the daily chores, the weekly food shop, and the monthly visit with the in-laws, many of us aren’t setting aside enough time for fun. The trouble is, having fun and relaxing into an activity that we aren’t duty-bound to do is incredibly good for our minds.

From improving our heart health to setting us up for making better and more creative decisions in our day-to-day lives, it’s not much of a jump to say that there’s no such thing as ‘too much’ fun. Read more below.

Laughter

We all know the usual list of things that are actually good for us: green veg, plenty of water, a good night’s sleep, and plenty of physical activity. The trouble with these lists is they are often filled with things we do not necessarily want, but will do anyway, because they really do make us feel better.

There is, however, one item we often overlook: having a good chuckle whenever we can.

There are countless benefits to sharing a laugh with loved ones, from relieving physical and mental stress to flooding the brain with positive endorphins and strengthening relationships with others.

Games

Increasingly, neuroscientists are finding that ‘having fun for the sake of it’, or setting aside time each week to take part in activities — whether or not they serve a practical purpose — is actually good for our brain health.

Setting aside time just to enjoy ourselves has many advantages. It allows us to decompress from the day-to-day stressors, practice our skills in creativity and problem-solving, socialise, and help to keep our reflexes sharp.

You don’t need to look far to find a compelling game to play. Why not revive an old favourite with a game of Slingo Bingo, which you most likely remember being a bit hit in the mid-nineties? Set the tea brewing, find a cosy spot, and practice saying ‘No’ to the daily grind for a little while.

Being Active

Even if you love the morning run, or the afternoon trip to the gym, it’s all too easy for exercise to feel like an obligation — at least some of the time, anyway. But the benefits of being active and moving your body whenever you can are hard to ignore: the increased blood flow does wonders for your brain’s thinking power, and the release of those positive endorphins can continue to elevate your mood even hours after the fact.

There are plenty of ways of getting up and active without it feeling like you’re acting under the doctor’s orders, from dancing around the kitchen to jumping on the trampoline.

Get Serious About Fun

A little light-hearted enjoyment can do wonders for creating a positive frame of mind, warding off the headaches of everyday life, and exercising areas of our brain that might feel somewhat neglected amid the usual hubbub of our daily routines. Be sure to set aside time for having a little fun, for no other reason than your own enjoyment.




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