Happy 5th everyone! If you live in the United States I hope your holiday week-end was light and playful. I’ve got kids, well young adults, visiting from overseas so I’m officially 19 again. I love it! I love it because in typical scorpio fashion my tendency is to be serious. I’ve always found immense satisfaction in studying, contemplative practices and digging deep into the esoteric side of life. But it ain’t light stuff! Too much introspection and meditation can get a tad heavy let me tell you. An imbalance of its own. Somewhere in my mid 30’s it hit me…I need to lighten up here! I realized there was a whole part of myself I had not nurtured. I forgot I loved to dance. I forgot I loved to bike and hike alone. I forgot I loved all kinds of music and listening to it crazy loud. I forgot I loved glitter, color and pretty hairpins. But no more. Color, music, dance and nature are back with a bang! Sometimes all at once. Life feels more balanced that way. I feel more balanced that way. It goes without saying that having fun is central to living a balanced, stress-free life.
Unfortunately having fun is often perceived as optional, frivolous or unproductive. How sad. In my experience, fun is ultra therapeutic to body, mind and soul. Stress-relief at its best. But not any kind of fun. The kind of fun we’re talking about here is wholesome. How do you know it’s wholesome? No hangover. Physical, emotional or otherwise. No yucky feeling afterward. No need for recovery. No thinking! Wholesome fun will get you into the zone, guaranteed. Pure elation. Energizing. Uplifting. This kind of fun is balancing, sanity-inducing, emotionally soothing. A natural high without a crash. Not surprisingly doing things we love affect our neurochemistry. Listening to chill-inducing music has been shown to boost levels of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. Exercising, catching some rays and getting a massage all increase serotonin levels, another brain chemical whose low levels are often associated with depression and anxiety. Plain laughing has so many benefits we should all get a daily serving of it (I get mine at lunchtime, watching clips of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
So when is the last time you felt carefree, child-like? If you can’t remember then you are seriously fun-deficient and need to address the situation immediately. Quick, how much fun can you have, where, when, how? What haven’t you done in ages that used to lift and lighten you up like nothing else? Or perhaps you’ve been meaning to explore new fun territory. Ballroom dancing anyone? Body painting (on my list!)? Joining a drum circle? Blowing gigantic soap bubbles? How about a straightforward trip to the beach? Always a winner in my book. It’s summertime girlfriend, go have yourself some (wholesome) fun!