Time For Fun: Lessons from the Dolphin.
Dolphins know how to enjoy life and have fun. They can often be seen playing in the water, jumping, splashing and flipping. They are very caring mammals, who are very protective of each other and can be seen helping the young, sick and elderly members of the pod. Dolphins are very sociable and interact well with other dolphins, even if they are not from the same pod. They work together to hunt and protect themselves, showing us that working as a team can be the better option sometimes.
Dolphins bring forward an important lesson that is often forgotten: To have fun and enjoy life.
When was the last time you had fun?
Think about the last time you had fun – where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing? As you bring forward that memory notice how it makes you feel. Alive? Liberated?
Now consider how often you feel that way. How much time do you make for yourself to have fun?
Laughter is the best medicine
The Laughter Yoga University (https://laughteryoga.org/scientific-research-on-laughter-and-humor/) researched the benefits of laughter and identified several health benefits of laughter. Some of which include:
– Reduced stress, anxiety and depression, which in turn reduce the risks of heart disease etc.
– Improved immunity
– Analgesic effect
– Cancer prevention
Strean (2009) researched laughter as an intervention to promote good health. Whilst he noted lots of perceived benefits, he found no evidence whatsoever to suggest that laughter is in any way bad for you. He therefore concluded his work with the suggestion:
Let us begin to consider that, along with eating your vegetables and getting enough sleep,
laughter is a sound prescription as a wonderful way to enhance health.
Why it is important to make time for yourself
I’m sure you’ve all heard the proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Yet there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done that you would like to do. Often it’s the fun stuff that is given less importance. Time for yourself is often the time that is sacrificed. Why is that? Is it really less important?
It seems absolutely ludicrous when you think about it – life is so short and ultimately we get to choose what we do with it, how we spend it and who we spend it with – yet we often spend it doing things that matter more to other people. It’s easy to forget that we have a choice.
Here are some examples of things that place demands on our time:
Often there is a need to earn lots of money to feel secure, to do the things we enjoy, to buy the things we really want or our kids really want – the next trending gadget, the latest fashion item. How much is enough? Are these things really needed? Are they going to bring you the same feeling of happiness that you have just reconnected to above?
Often this is linked to money and the need to provide security and pay the bills etc. Sometimes we have to take any job that’s available to make sure the bills are paid, but there are options to learn new skills and look for other jobs if the one you are in makes you unhappy or places too many demands on your time.
Many people are feeling the pressure now of more and more work being pushed their way, so that it impacts on their home life too. It’s ok to push back. A good work life balance is a healthy balance. For relationships to thrive you need to put time and effort into them. For you to thrive you need to invest time and effort into yourself. This is not only important for your health and wellbeing, but for that of your family too. Work will carry on regardless, but if something was to happen to you who would care the most? These are the people who matter and who really need your time.
This is a harder one. Most people put their family members ahead of themselves, especially their kids. To an extent that’s ok. Your kids need your time and are reliant on your time to love, care for and nurture them. In most cases that’s something that you want to do, which again is great. Relationships rely on making time together and doing things for and with each other. However, it’s still important not to lose yourself. If you don’t care for yourself how can you care for others?
Remember to take breaks from the kids – to go out and be yourself. Pursue your interests, maintain your own identity, have fun. Your family will benefit from your happiness and well-being as you will be better equipped to support them with theirs.
To help you understand the factors that drive you, you might want to revisit Stand In Your Own Power With the Tiger
When you make time for yourself you will be much happier and healthier and able to make a more positive impact on the lives of other people. What’s stopping you?
Time is precious
There is a clever analogy about time that really makes you think:
Imagine that you are give £86,400 every day, but you can’t save it or carry any of it over into the next day. You have to spend it on the day you get it.
You’d think very carefully about how you would spend it wouldn’t you?
Now apply this concept to time. We all have 86400 seconds every day to spend as we wish. How can you spend them wisely to live the fullest, happiest life you can?
Message from the dolphin
Be yourself. Help, nurture and advise, but play and have fun. Dance, jump, play and enjoy life. Follow what’s in your heart and go with the flow. We all have a purpose to help others, but we should make time for ourselves too. Follow your heart and enjoy life.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this and how you make quality time for yourself.
Laughter Yoga International, Scientific Research on Laughter and Humour https://laughteryoga.org/scientific-research-on-laughter-and-humor/)
Strean W,B (2009) Laughter Prescription, Can Fam Physician. 2009 Oct; 55(10): 965–967.