How to Be More Playful

When we’re hit with life’s responsibilities, it’s natural to generally feel more serious. There’s often a sense of heaviness that comes with seeing all of the items on our to-do lists. Though it is difficult to look at anxiety-inducing tasks and think, “Let’s make this fun!”, the manner in which we handle day-to-day living is a choice.

Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse who wrote The Top Five Regrets of The Dying observed that one of the biggest regrets noted by those at the end of their lives was, “I wish that I had let myself be happier.” They longed for more belly laughs, silliness, and lightheartedness. None of the regrets mentioned wishing they had worked harder. In fact, another top life regret was working too hard. Letting this information sink in can be a reality check on how we are approaching our lives.

Playfulness is a choice. 

Many of us have been trained to view certain activities like work, chores, and some social obligations as stressful. This mentality can limit us from experiencing joyful moments.

The truth is that happiness comes from within. We cannot rely on other people, things, or experiences to make us happy. This also means that our level of satisfaction is within our control. We have the ability to bring a sense of lightness to life that no one can take away from us.

Here are two steps that can help guide you to bring more playfulness into your life:

  1. Notice the moments when you feel playful or, dare I say, more human – You may feel it when you’re creating something crafty with your hands, hearing a baby’s laugh, or lip-syncing to yourself in the mirror. Anything that lifts your spirit and allows you to let your guard down. Be curious about your thoughts and feelings in these moments to gain full awareness of your experience.
  2. Challenge yourself to bring your playful energy out in settings you normally don’t – Doing chores? Play music and sing while you do it. Experiencing a stressful moment? Get out of your chair and physically shake (and maybe dance) it off! Long work meeting? Add some light humor, or maybe just give someone a smile. The majority of our day-to-day life experiences do not require full-on ~seriousness~, so the addition of some playfulness is most often a refreshing change of pace!

Is this much easier said than done? Of course. Though, taking baby steps to add a bit more play to your life can end up having a significant effect. Now, let’s turn the next mundane task into a party!!

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