The power of not taking things so seriously

I wonder if you’ve noticed as I have that when you’re going through a bad time there’s a tendency to take everything in life terribly seriously?

The kinds of TV shows which might normally bring a smile to your face cease to do so. Chores and tasks can feel like total drudgery. Conversations, at least from your end, take on a funereal tone.

And that’s not much fun, is it?

Worse still, it becomes a vicious circle. You don’t have fun because you feel low, then you feel even lower because you’re having no fun.

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This is where, I suggest, we can learn from the younger members of society.

Kids get one thing very right, because they approach just about everything in a playful manner. Even walking down the street can turn into a dance or athletic display.

Now I know (or at least hope) that the next time you’re feeling a bit blue you probably won’t be breaking into a bout of twerking as you make your way down the high street.

But there’s a lot to be said for, even surreptitiously, sneaking in a little playfulness to your everyday activities. You won’t feel like it, but it’ll almost certainly do you good.

You’ll have your own ideas, but here are four to get you going:

1. Avoid the cracks as you make your way down the sidewalk.

2. Pet a dog in the street. I had a great chat with a sad-looking retriever outside the Farmer’s Market on Sunday morning. I asked how he was doing. He said Ruff.

3. Make funny faces at yourself in the mirror. Sounds goofy, *is* goofy, but it’s hard to keep a straight face. Literally.

4. Dance. It even works in the car or the bathroom when nobody’s watching.

A little bit of play goes a long way, for as George Bernard Shaw once said: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

3 thoughts on “The power of not taking things so seriously

  1. Number 2 and 4 ring true for me. I love to pet dog – especially when I see a Golden Retriever. I love Goldens – they have such a warm disposition and I see how they smile and it just makes me feel good. I am always doing number 4 in combination with signing. When I walk across town in Boston from where the commuter bus drops me and my office, I have my iPhone tunes on and I’m singing and when not walking (waiting for the lights or in line at Starbucks – I’m dancing. I really don’t care what others think. I’m having fun! Almost anything my Earth Wind and Fire (especially September, Serpentine Fire and Boogie Wonderland) and Uptown Funk (Bruno Mars) are awesome tunes. Can’t just stand still when those are playing!!

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