Did you ever think, while you were growing up, that life was going to be so serious? From my perspective as a kid, it looked like grownups could have all kinds of fun. They had control of the time and the money and I just knew that when I grew up I would use those resources to live a playful, happy life.
So what happened?
For me, like most of us, all the responsibilities of being an adult took over. We stopped being playful except on special occasions; vacation, weekends, holidays. Sometimes not even then. But, you know, life doesn’t have to be this way.
As I teach my clients, being playful is a skill. A skill that can be re-learned with a little attention and some simple activities. Here is one suggestion from step 3 of my Playing to Prosper: 5 Steps to Living Happy program to get you started:
Pay attention. There are opportunities to play all around you, almost all of the time. Look at the world with big eyes. Watch for things — resources, people, opportunities, etc. — that other people don’t see. Next time you’re waiting for something — a meeting to start, a light to change, or just to get to the front of a line — open your eyes.
See someone walking a puppy? Ask if you can pet it. Get down close and really soak in that wriggly, waggling puppy love. There’s nothing like a puppy to bring out the smiles in people.
Notice a tree you could climb? A rope you could swing on? A curb to walk? Go ahead and give it a try. I love curb walking. I stick out my arms and pretend I’m a gymnast on a balance beam.
Is there something that’s funny? Laugh about it. Laughter makes you feel good. It’s contagious and good for your heart health too. If someone laughs at you when you’re being playful don’t let it stop you. Remember that you’re really doing them a service.
Be open to those opportunities and take advantage of them. You’ll be happier and as a bonus, you’ll be setting a playful example for those around you.
Want to learn more simple tricks for changing your life for the better? Things that you can implement right now? Click here and I will send you the video series “3 Tips Your Mother Never Told You About Living Happy NOW!”