Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fun and Your Health

What do you do for fun? Doctors don't often ask you this question in regards to health care, but maybe fun plays more of a role in health than we openly acknowledge. Think about how you feel after spending a weekend doing something that interests you, whether that is playing frisbee outside, seeing a new movie, or whatever activity that you enjoy doing.
Fun has great effects on both the body and mind. It gets your blood pumping, neurotransmitters flowing, and healthily engages your body and mind. Sometimes when life gets stressful, there is a tendency to skip fun because of all there is to do or think about. During these stressful times, your body will start hinting to you that it's time for a dose of fun. You may start to experience sluggishness, your mind may feel foggy, and your mood may throw more anxiety and irritability your way. You might feel just generally out of balance.
What your body's telling you is that it's time to shake things up a bit and distract yourself from the stress and worries. What is fun? These days, fun may conjure up images of watching videos online, playing on a tablet or smart phone, and catching up with social media. While these are all common forms of distraction and fun, it can be helpful to step away from the screens temporarily to try out other types of fun.
Fun can involve doing something new, surprising yourself by using a new talent, getting creative, or hanging out with friends. While these activities may seem obvious, they're some of the first ones we can neglect when stress enters the picture. Fun helps you grow, learn new things about yourself, and stretch your imagination.
Even though doctors don't ask how much fun you have, it's a good idea to ask yourself once in a while. Is there an activity that you enjoy that you haven't had a chance to do much lately? If so, rearrange your schedule a bit or write a reminder on a post-it note so that you hold yourself to getting back to it. See if a friend wants to join you if you think that would be fun. And for extra fun, ditch the screens for a day.
You'll most likely find that after having some fun, the daunting nature of stress, work, and other responsibilities softens around the edges. You'll feel renewed energy for dealing with the challenges that are on your plate and any others that might pop up. And you can say to yourself, "Hey--I had fun and feel better. I deserve it!"
So, the healthy question for this week is: What do you want to do for fun?
Health Constellations is a fun and interactive website that offers free tools and other services to improve your health. We help you connect the dots between your chronic health symptoms so you can achieve long-lasting health to look and feel better!
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