Get Serious About Fun & Reap the Benefits
As adults, prioritizing time to truly unwind can be a challenge or feel wasteful. That being said, scientists are increasingly compiling evidence that play may be just as vital to our health and well-being as food, exercise, and sleep. Like so many social interactions, the concept of “fun” is something that seems to be unique to evolved mammals and is a behavior which helps bond us to the others in our “tribe”. In addition to strengthening relationships, play for adults has other compelling benefits worth learning about and exploring.
1. It Boosts Your Personal Well-Being
While on the surface, play may seem frivolous or unnecessary it’s benefits are far from it – whether it be a game of chess, flag football in the park, or hide-and-seek with your kids, the positive effects of play are significant. From increased creativity and optimism to a boost in immune function, play also increases your capacity for perseverance. There’s a serious upside to fun that can have a big impact on your well-being, interpersonal relationships, and sense of overall life satisfaction.
2. It Teaches You to Focus on the Present Moment
Play forces you to embrace the journey and focus on the task at hand rather than only on the end goal or reward. Whether it be tackling a board game or participating in a tennis match, you’re required to engage with others and adjust to circumstances outside of your control. Honing these important social skills through “play” as an adult allows you to more powerfully connect with those around you while doing something you truly enjoy.
3. It Improves Your Memory
Strengthening your memory recall comes naturally through play. In fact, according to an article by NPR “A number of studies suggest that playing games or doing puzzles helps maintain memory and thinking skills.” Games of all kinds require that you understand and follow a set of rules and often sequences. Combining fun with strategy can lead to generally connecting the dots in other areas of your life as well as supporting your critical thinking processes and changing your approach to problem solving.
So the next time a friend, colleague or your child suggests stepping out of your responsibilities and into a bit of fun – jump in with both feet. Your health and well-being will benefit and so will your relationship!
Here’s to getting serious about fun in your life and reaping the benefits!
An Executive Health & Lifestyle Coach®, Sylvaine N. Hughson, is the Founder and Director of SNH – The Art & Science of Optimized Living®. As the Principal Coach and Consultant for SNH, Sylvaine works closely with high-level professionals, performance-driven groups, and Fortune 500 companies. She helps her clients unleash the power of optimized mindset, wellness & lifestyle to fuel their peak performance and accomplish their most important goals.
She is certified as a Corporate Wellness Consultant, Corporate Wellness Provider, Holistic Health Coach, Master Transformational Coach, Raw Living Foods Health Educator, FirstLine Therapy Lifestyle Educator, Professional Life Coach, Yoga Instructor and Traditional Reiki Master.
Tags: benefits, challenge, chess, exercise, food, football, fun, games, goal, health, hide-and-seek, journey, life satisfaction, perseverance, play, prioritize, puzzles, relationships, reward, serious, Sleep, strategy, well-being