Our soul needs fun in order to thrive. It not only helps to heal the challenges of the human condition, it also enhances our overall experience of life. Despite the vast amount of research that exists related to the positive benefits of fun and leisure, most adults neglect this essential part of soul health.
The recent NASA video of the International Space Station’s “Ape Invasion” (if you haven’t seen it, take a look!) makes the hilarious point that even in the most serious of situations, sometimes you just have to play around and laugh. When I first saw the clip on the news, my mind had a difficult time wrapping my head around what was happening. Finally, I laughed out loud, paused to ponder how NASA allowed these antics, then silently praised them for endorsing the fact that sometimes we need to step out of our serious roles as adults to simply have a little fun. If I were stuck in a 373 square foot metal capsule that was 220 miles above the earth’s surface for a year, you can guarantee that I’d be getting into a bit of mischief just to keep me sane.
But why don’t we invest in some good, healthy play on a regular basis while still on earth? Most recreational activities that adults engage in involve some sort of competition. However, research shows that these types fun aren’t nearly as therapeutic as having a simple, but hardy, laugh.
Could you list 10 things you do just for the sake of fun? Are these regular activities or ones you engage in once in a blue moon? When was the last time you had one of those laughs that left you with tears streaming down your face and sore stomach muscles that lingered for days? Do you prioritize fun into your day or week—or are you like most people who put leisure off until you are so stressed out and tired that you can’t enjoy it?
As part of learning to feed your soul in 2016, I would like to not only give you permission to integrate more fun and leisure in your daily life, I would also like to challenge you to do it and see how much better you feel. As I say in my book, “Fun feeds the soul, and without it our inner light will die.” To take my “Feed Your Soul with Fun” challenge as you learn to play again, begin by watching the following video.