8 Health Benefits of Having Fun
What do having fun and staying healthy have in common?
A lot more than you might think.
Laughing with friends, throwing a ball for the dog, watching your favorite TV show, or reading a book might be called “leisure activities,” but the health benefits associated with some good old fashioned fun are nothing short of incredible. So the next time you’re feeling guilty for skipping the gym in favor of a reading a good book, keep these 8 health benefits in mind:
1. Reduced Stress
Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone” or the “fight or flight hormone” when we’re stressed. It’s intended to save our lives in a do-or-die situation; however, at low levels of stress (when there’s nothing to fight or flee) cortisol can cause weight gain and can even inhibit the body’s ability to fight off infection and heal itself. Having fun and taking the time to play reduces cortisol levels, which leads us to . . .
2. Sweet Serotonin
On the flip side, having fun increases serotonin levels. is a chemical that regulates many of our most basic processes–including sleep patterns, memory, body temperature, and mood. Doing activities you enjoy that help you relax and connect with others naturally increases the body’s serotonin levels.
3. Improved Ability to Cope
Stress is inevitable–and not every waking moment can be spent having fun. However, taking time for leisure activities and play that make you feel great can help even when stressful situations do arise. Think of fun, stress-free activities as money in the bank. When stress, pain, or negative situations arise, you’ll be able to tap into reserves of calm, rather than finding yourself in the red.
4. Boosted Energy
Having fun and enjoying leisure activities can also help boost your energy levels. Stress and pain are both mentally and physically draining. Taking the time to relax, enjoy yourself, and spend time with others doing activities that make you feel like yourself can help you feel less tired, more mentally awake, and more capable.
5. Improved Memory and Concentration
The reduced cortisol levels and increased serotonin levels that come with having fun mean you’ll enjoy a clearer mind and better memory. We all know the feeling of running on autopilot or becoming forgetful when a particularly stressful situation is troubling us. The same phenomenon occurs on a lower-level when it comes to stress. Regularly taking the time to relax and play reduces low-grade stress levels and frees up mental energy.
6. Improved Connection with Others
Forming meaningful connections with others is one of the most significant health benefits of having fun. Taking time to enjoy activities and conversations with friends gives us a sense of connection, usefulness, and meaning that can be more powerful than any prescription. Brene Brown, a sociologist who specializes in human connection, says, “As psychologists from Maslow to Baumeister have repeatedly stressed, the truth of the matter is that a sense of social connection is one of our fundamental human needs.”
7. Sounder Sleep
Spending time laughing, playing, relaxing, or participating in enjoyable leisure activities can also help you sleep more soundly. Taking time to relax or doing something to make yourself smile right before bedtime is especially important, but any fun or relaxing activities during the day will reduce cortisol levels and improve how soundly you sleep. The finds that people with lower stress levels are much more likely to report “very good” or “excellent” quality sleep (33% compared to 8%).
8. Positive Patterns
Just like healthy eating is most beneficial when done over a sustained period of time, the health benefits of having fun only improve with time. Making a habit of relaxing, engaging in activities you enjoy, and spending time with people who make you happy will yield sustained and increasingly positive benefits of consistently lower stress, positive feelings, better sleep, better coping abilities, and improved relationships.
Here are some upcoming exciting and fun activities in the
Triad NC area
N.C. FOLK FESTIVAL
GREENSBORO : September
Friday - Sunday: 5pm - 11pm
The North Carolina Folk Festival is dedicated to honoring, celebrating, and sharing the meaningful ways in which communities express their creativity and cultural traditions through music, dance, food, crafts and other folk arts from across America and the world through its flagship annual event each September in downtown Greensboro, NC. The festival is free admission, three-day event that continues the legacy of the National Folk Festival, which was held in Greensboro from 2015–2017. In the tradition of “The National,” this festival features performing groups representing a diverse array of cultural traditions from around the world on multiple stages, including continuous music and dance performances, a makers marketplace, regional and ethnic foods, festival merchandise and more.
GREENSBORO FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL
GREENSBORO August 29, 2021 12:00 pm-7:00 pm
Try and taste more than 50 food trucks from Greensboro and the surrounding areas, live music, children's activities and more. Held twice a year in the heart of downtown Greensboro. Try one-of-kind foods from Ice Cream Sammiches to street tacos and classic southern entrees. Taste award-winning food trucks like Cousin's Lobster to Bacon inspired dishes at Baconessence. See chalk art, shop with local vendors. Play in rotating activities like axe-throwing and bubble bouncing.
KANNAPOLIS CANNON BALLERS INAUGURAL SEASON
KANNAPOLIS August 2021 7:00 pm-10:00 pm
vs. Down East Wood Ducks
With 60 home games, there are plenty of
opportunities to catch a Kannapolis Cannon Ballers baseball game during the
Visit brand new Atrium Health Ballpark to enjoy fun for the whole family. Enjoy local beer and ballpark favorite foods from Boomer’s Bistro, pick up official merchandise at Cannon City Supply Co. and have a blast at the playground and splash pad. Plus, spend time enjoying the area! Located in Downtown Kannapolis, the ballpark is part of a revitalization project bringing local businesses, spacious streetscapes, public art, and inviting seating and lounge areas along West Ave.
Raleigh’s International Food Festival
Raleigh: August 28th, 2021 12pm-10pm
International Food . International Beer and
Wine . International Performers and more! FREE Admission. Family Friendly. Pet Friendly.
We bring the world to downtown!
Free Festival... come celebrate the world with
us... Food from around the world!
Turkey, Italy, Lebanon, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Hungary,
Latin Fusion-DESSERTS: Germany, Korea, Venezuela, Colombia, India, Salvador, China, USA, Caribbean, , Latin Fusion, Colombia, and more.