Feeling stuck? Here’s how to have more fun in life, starting today

I’m sure it says anything else about my personality that over the past three years, one of my New Year resolutions has been to “be happier.” As a classic Enneagram 3, my intense work ethic can sometimes conflict with ultimate goal of living life to the fullest. So every January 1, when I write in my journal about how I want next year to look, I make sure to write some version of “More fun, more laughter, more games.” than”.

I always go the extra mile a bit more seriously – my elementary teachers used to tell my mom how “focused” I seemed in class. When I’m in the area with the goal in mind, it’s hard for me to see outside of my carefully crafted action plan. But to be more carefree, I know that breaking the script is exactly what I need to feel more joyful in my daily experience. When I’m hiking or at the beach, it’s easy to fall into a space where the focus is on experiencing the moment and enjoying life rather than ticking everything off my to-do list. And yes, the beauty of nature tends to awaken that spirit in many of us, but I also think it has to do with the fact that disruptions in the flow of life make us feel more lively.

I started 2022 by downloading a new book with the right title The Power of Joy: How to Feel Alive, where the author, Catherine Price (who also wrote this other favorite) begins by tearing down her definition of “true joy.” Turns out, many things that we can think is fun, after further testing, not satisfying after all. She classifies things like binge-watching and scrolling through social media as “fake pleasure.”

“Fake Fun paralyzes and leaves us empty when done. True Fun makes us feel nourished and refreshed. “

I believe that even when serious things are happening in the world around us, we can have empathy and compassion for what is happening, and welcome fun and laughter. laugh in our day. So, inspired by my readings, as well as my own recent experiences, here’s what I’m learning about how to have more joy in our lives.

Fun is a mindset

Let’s use an example that most of us encounter every day: making dinner. Two women make the same dinner on a Tuesday night, say lasagna. One of them was paying attention to what she was doing as she mulled over a problem at work that day while cursing herself for choosing a recipe that required multiple layers of noodles/cheese. cool/sauce because she still has lunch to pack and email to reply and –All just a bit too much for a Tuesday.

That woman? She’s barefoot in the kitchen with the music on, enjoying the experience of doing one of her favorite things. Maybe she hires a family member to help with her class, maybe she pours a glass of wine and enjoys the feeling of doing one of her favorite things on a Tuesday night. Same situation, completely different experience.

Or think of the simple act of chatting, something we do all the time, with strangers, family, and friends. What distinguishes a boring conversation from one that is considered “joking” or even, flirt? It’s all in how we choose to view it.

True Joy = Playfulness, Connection and Flow

In his book, Price says that these 3 qualities must be present in order to experience Real Joy in our lives: playfulness, connection and fluency. Playfulness is the spirit of fun and freedom where you don’t have to think too much about your day-to-day responsibilities but instead are fully involved in whatever you’re doing.

“When people are having fun, they sparkle.”

Connection is a shared experience with another person or thing. It could be a connection with nature, an activity you enjoy (like drawing), animals, or other people. It happens when a person “joins someone else and feels completely himself at the same time.”

And Flow is a term that describes the feeling of being so completely involved in the present experience that you lose track of time – the feeling of being lost in whatever you’re doing.

If my goal is to have more fun, I can look for experiences that include all three of these qualities or find ways to infuse more of each of them into my daily life. When Playfulness, connection and flow Now we have the magic of real joy.

Embrace the idea of ​​unconditional joy

My definition of unconditional joy is: You don’t have to wait until things settle down to have fun. It is not dependent on what is happening around us, but rather an internal energy transfer – a way of moving in the world that is not so dependent on external circumstances. Picture that person as if they always have a blast (George Clooney counts.) It’s magnetic, isn’t it? I’m looking for the little moments of joy that can be found even on a not-so-perfect day – if I’m paying attention.

Have more fun by breaking the script.

A few years ago, I read and loved a book called The power of moments. It’s all about how we can create more memories and special moments in our lives. One of the biggest takeaways from me was a concept called “script breaking”. The idea is that by doing something unexpected, we turn off autopilot and turn everyday moments into something more interesting.

Here are some “breakdown scripting moments” that I’ve caught up on recently:

  • After dinner, instead of turning on the TV, take the family for a walk around the neighborhood.
  • Shower with a great podcast on my headphones – in the middle of the day!
  • Notice something you love about someone in your life – and tell them.
  • Instead of to watch my kids play dodgeball, jump in and play with them non-stop (it’s also an amazing workout.)
  • Make your favorite cocktails on the weekend.
  • Do something you’ve never done before: I’m trying to climb mountains.
  • Make a new recipe.
  • Read poetry instead of fiction.
  • Look for opportunities for random acts of kindness – they’re everywhere.
  • When the kids are in their pajamas, announce that we’re going to get ice cream.
  • Buy yourself flowers – and enjoy the peonies.
  • Buy flowers for a friend.
  • Wake up early to meditate in the morning in the backyard. There’s something about watching the sunrise that changes my day.

Spontaneity is the spice of life

I also studied at The power of moments that novel experiences slow down time and engrave memories in our brains. As children, we experience many things for the first time. Instead of ticking “watering the plants” off our to-do lists, we’re looking at the tiny wings of a hummingbird or watching an earthworm dig deep into the soil. I will never forget my mother’s frequent announcement of “split bananas for dinner!” Sure, it wasn’t healthy, but the spontaneity of those nights fed my spirits in a way broccoli never could.

I wonder if instead of treating the unknowns and uncertainties in our lives as “stressful,” we could organize them as an opportunity to reconnect with our inner child. Are we living every day? We couldn’t plan everything back then – and there’s a lot we can’t plan right now.

So, let’s fully embrace life – smile generously, laugh freely, seek out opportunities to have fun, break habits. Life is too short. I’m ready to play.

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