What does it mean to have fun? That may seem like a weird question, but it’s worth pondering. We all have our own definitions of what fun means. In fact, no two people share exactly the same response to different types of “fun.”
Even so, it’s important to maintain an awareness of the benefits of fun, especially if you’re an older adult 55+. Fun shouldn’t be ignored by anybody. You’re never too old to benefit from having fun!
So, what’s the best way to define fun? Maybe you should think of it this way: Fun is the enjoyment you feel when doing an activity, a leisurely pursuit that offers a sense of positive engagement and puts a smile on your face!
Sometimes, it’s the result of being free to play without expectations or the pressure of potential consequences, much like children play and have fun!
Why Is Fun Important for Older Adults?
Scientific studies and research continues to show that play and fun activities for older adults or people of any age for that matter can have several major benefits.
For example, according to scientists fun has the power to help:
- Improve how your brain works. Do you want to maintain your memory and optimize your ability to learn new things? Playing and having fun—on a regular basis—can help you avoid memory problems and enhance your creativity and mental sharpness.
- Heal, establish, or maintain relationships. Our social lives are incredibly important for our overall well-being. However, a lot of older adults are lonely. In fact, on average, older adults without spouses or partners spend about 10 hours alone each day. But fun and play can enable these older adults to make new friends or improve existing relationships. Things like laughter and friendly competition are known to increase harmony, trust, empathy, and intimacy among people who experience them together.
- Improve your mental and emotional well-being. Engaging in fun and playful activities can expand your optimism, multiply your moments of joy, and reduce your stress. It can even help prevent depression.
- Extend your life and improve your physical vitality. Who doesn’t want to feel younger or more energetic? Creating plenty of fun moments in your life can be a good way to boost your immune system, and reduce your risk of illness.
Having fun is not just essential for kids; it can be a source of relaxation and stress relief for adults as well. Fun should be a part of life for everyone, including those who happen to be on the other side of the hill.
So make sure you have some fun and excitement to your every day! Bowling or miniature golf anyone?
Learn more about how to tap into your playful side at any age @ the Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/5-ways-to-bring-play-back-into-your-life/art-20342117