Why Having Fun Is Vital to Your Health

When was the last time you really had fun? The kind where you completely lost track of time, laughed your head off, or felt that inner surge of yes!

Been a while? You’re not alone.

As adults, we often forget to have fun. We can get so busy with the demands of life that we don’t make time for fun. Or we think having fun is trivial or an indulgence. It’s not. Fun fuels and renews you. It’s vital to your health—and to a rich and rewarding life.

Fun Is Great for You

Fun is an antidote to stress. Chronic stress is linked to muscle tension and a host of health problems—headaches, heart disease, and digestive problems just to start. Fun helps reset your brain’s stress response, switching it out of “fight or flight” and back to “rest and digest.”

Having fun also leads to laughing. And laughing is great for you. Laughter helps relieve stress, relax muscles, and boost endorphins, your brain’s feel-good chemicals. And if you make a habit of laughing? Over time it can help boost both mood and immunity.

Having More Fun

What’s fun for you may be entirely different from what’s fun for someone else. And unexpected things may be enjoyable. The important thing is to figure out what’s fun for you. Here’s how:

Let your body be the guide
Fun is something you feel in your body, not just think in your head. If you think you should be having fun at a party, but feel bored or stressed, that’s not fun. Fun brings a spontaneous smile to your lips. It may feel like melting relaxation, bubbling excitement, or spreading joy.

Start noticing what truly feels fun to you. If you’re not sure, make a list of things you enjoy and imagine yourself doing them. Notice which bring a true smile to your lips.

Mine your childhood
What did you love to do as a kid? What did you lose yourself in completely? The things you loved doing as a child are a great guide to what you actually find fun. Look for ways to work those things into your life now.

Fun doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. You can have fun petting your dog or accessorizing your outfit. It only matters that it lights you up inside.

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