Why does having fun help?
29 Jun 2023

Why does having fun help?


Why does having fun help?

How often do you consciously make time for fun and to play? When did you stop doing what came so naturally to you as a child? Play is not solely reserved for children—it also holds significant importance for adults, as Albert Einstein said ‘Play is the Highest Form of Research’.

Play as an adult holds so many benefits such as helping our interpersonal relationships (how often at an office social have you seen a different relaxed or humorous side of a colleague, never really seen in the office), benefiting overall well-being and contributing to personal growth.

Stress reduction: Play provides a break from daily responsibilities, allowing adults to unwind, relax, and reduce stress levels. It promotes a sense of joy, fun, and light heartedness, which can help alleviate stress and improve overall mental well-being. Can you allow yourself permission to play?

Creativity and problem-solving: Play stimulates imagination and creativity. Engaging in playful activities can foster innovative thinking, enhance problem-solving skills, and encourage out-of-the-box approaches to challenges. It promotes flexible thinking and the ability to see multiple perspectives. It can feel like you’re using the other side of your brain, something new, something stimulating.

Emotional well-being: Playfulness can bring about positive emotions such as happiness, excitement, and laughter. Engaging in activities that bring joy and pleasure can boost mood, increase self-esteem, and enhance emotional resilience. It boosts endorphins within the body, our natural stress reliever.

Cognitive stimulation: Play engages the mind and promotes cognitive stimulation. It can enhance memory, concentration, and mental agility. Playing games, solving puzzles, or engaging in intellectually stimulating activities can help keep the mind sharp and enhance cognitive functioning.

Physical health and vitality: Play often involves physical movement and exercise, which contributes to improved physical health and overall vitality. It can help maintain fitness, boost energy levels, and promote better sleep patterns. In midlife, it is so important to stay active and control weight so that your overall sense of wellbeing is higher.

Social connection and relationships: Play can facilitate social interaction and strengthen interpersonal relationships. Engaging in playful activities with others fosters bonding, trust, and camaraderie. It encourages cooperation, communication, and empathy, thus enhancing social connections and relationships. So many midlifers are lonely at this time of life, joining a social group or community group can create a sense of belonging which can be so important.

Personal growth and self-expression: Play allows individuals to explore their interests, passions, and talents. It provides an avenue for self-expression, experimentation, and self-discovery. Engaging in activities that align with personal values and interests can contribute to a sense of fulfilment and personal growth.

Work-life balance: Incorporating play into adult life helps create a healthier work-life balance. It reminds individuals to prioritize leisure, relaxation, and personal enjoyment alongside their professional responsibilities.

Renewed perspective: Playfulness can foster a more playful and light-hearted outlook on life. It encourages a shift away from seriousness and rigid thinking, allowing adults to approach challenges and situations with a fresh perspective and a sense of curiosity.

Go on, why not treat yourself and start booking in regular slots in your diary to take time out for yourself and have fun!

If you would like help with your midlife transition or to find direction in the second half of life, why not read The Midlife Crisis Handbook or attend a course at The Midlife Academy.