Good health is about being happy because being unhappy affects you whether you realise it or not. I say this because health is always presented as something you get when you stop having fun and the fun only comes after years of suffering. Yet the truth is that it’s the opposite because the pursuit of health is the pursuit of happiness.

That is a very big topic and so I have started to publish some articles exploring play as part of starting the discussion on its benefits to health. Some people have commented that they don’t understand the relevance to health which is a very good point. It’s not always as obvious as it should be and to fix that I thought I would introduce a little of the philosophy and value behind it so you can start seeing why getting healthy should be fun and if its not we need to figure out what is fun for you and find the health in that.

So, instead of forcing you to believe that happiness and health are separate things I will show you how they can work effortlessly together.

Life is to be lived and the modern world has the best entertainment we have ever seen. From TV to music to sport and trips. Literally everything you can imagine you can do in some way so why not live your life through fun.

Play is the highest form of research.

Albert Einstein

Life should feel like play. It should be fun and interesting. But you have to work hard to make it that way. You have to be fit and strong mentally, physically and emotionally. You have to play the game of life well. Know how to turn losses into draws and draws into wins.

This is about turning everything into fun. So it’s about naturally fun stuff like watching films and tv, playing more tennis and less obvious stuff like cooking, gardening, shopping. Just finding ways to add the fun at each point.

Those who play rarely, become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humor.

Stuart Brown, M.D.

What do I mean when I say Play?

For me play is a state of mind where you are just being you and accepting yourself for who you are. Getting away from the stresses of life and being as close to who you really are as possible. It’s basically the place that you regain your balance.

The pressures of life (compete) force you off balance and take from you because you have to do things to survive and get by. Play  is natures way of regaining your balance and thus your health because it is a state where you are at one with yourself instead of fighting yourself.

Play is different for everyone because for some, like me it’s chasing a ball whether it’s on a tennis court, football pitch or whatever and for some it’s shopping or visiting an art gallery, or even climbing a mountain!!! but that’s active play at its finest. Stuff people do entirely for themselves with no purpose other than fun.

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation

Plato

The point is that you ask yourself what you really want to do and you find a way to do it. It’s a very broad topic and one you need to personalise and find what helps you regain you balance. I list House of cards here precisely because I find it so gripping. When I am stressed I find most TV shows don’t relax me because I think about my pressures but with House of cards they drift away and so the show brings about a state of play in me. The question is what things bring that state out in you?

The opposite of play is not work. It’s depression.

Brian Sutton-Smith

Each article is simply a different way of getting into a mindset where the pressures of life take a back seat and you live your dreams in some tiny or potential epic way.  My play won’t be your play so I’m sharing to get you thinking about:

  • how much time you spend in a state of play?
  • what are the things that really relax you and make you happy?
  • how can you spend more time doing them?

The examples I explored recently included:

Want more?

Play is natures way of learning about life while taking the stress out of it. It helps you regain your balance from the continual pressures of getting stuff done (competing) and building a better your (creating) which is typically what gets you off balance.

The need for a bit of fun has been there in all cultures and ages and is expressed in an old expression

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

I’ve found the same to be true in health. If you don’t take the time to live life as you want to live it regardless of the pressures on you then you’re not really living and you’re not really healthy. Being good at playing in a way that adds to your life and adds to your health is one of the most important skills you can develop.

Which is why I have slowly been building up a bank of articles to help you do that.

I realised I haven’t really made it clear that there is a whole other resource dedicated to helping you have more fun so I thought I should fix that. To give you an idea of what you will find there here is a short list of articles that might interest you:

So that’s a short introduction to Play and how it helps you be happy and healthy. As always get in touch if you have any questions.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read this post. Have a great day and find a moment to smile. Just for the sake of it so you can say something in your day made you smile. 🙂

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.

Heraclitus

Colin

Further references

A Ted talk on Why having fun is the secret to a healthy life.

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