Oct 25, 201102:53 PMMind & Body
Enjoyment as a Stress Reliever
Positive Psychology research shows that the number one thing that counteracts stress is happiness, joy and fun. The research suggests that as we have fun we build our resiliency to help move through our daily stresses more easily. I like to use the analogy of a grain silo to explain this concept. Think of it as every time you have a joyful, fun or happy moment you are putting grain in your personal silo. When stressful events happen in life we then take grain from the silo to “feed” ourselves and give ourselves energy to get through the hassles and burdens of everyday life. When your silo is depleted you don’t have an energy source to help you overcome the stress. It can become a vicious cycle if you are someone that “runs on empty” a lot.
You are solely responsible for adding the grain to your silo. No one else can do it for you. Finding out what helps you feel happy and gives you enjoyment is very important. Making a list of things that make you feel happy, help you have fun or fill you with joy is a great place to start. You may find that reading, running, being in nature, swinging on a swing, going to events with your friends, volunteering to help others, or movie night with the family watching funny kids’ movies are things that give you enjoyment. It doesn’t matter what your list entails only that you realize these things “feed” you and help you to be a stronger, happier more balanced person.
We are sometimes the last person that we think of, but overlooking our need for fun creates a huge imbalance in our ability to maintain our fast pace lives. If we have nothing left, we have nothing to give to anyone. Work, home and your family can and most likely will suffer. Stopping to have fun during extremely stressful ongoing life situations may seem inappropriate or unwise but it can significantly help to overcoming the negative event. I learned this by watching my amazing friend Barb work on keeping various types of cancer from overtaking her life for the past several years. Big or small, silly or profound it does matter what gives you joy and “feeds” you. It is just important you are psychologically feed regularly. Don’t be last on your list. Spend sometime today having fun!
Have a wonderfully fun day,