Is there really such a thing as fun stress relief?

Fun stress relief? What does fun have to do with finding relief from stress?

I'll tell you but first let me ask you, what do you think is important when it comes to living a less stressful, more joyful life...

  • education
  • learning
  • entertainment

...or some other activity?

In an article published on Inc.com, 8 Things You Should Do Every Day Before 8 A.M. to Be More Productive, Benjamin P. Hardy says, "Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning."

Do you agree?

I do, but not 100%.

In the article, Mr. Hardy suggests that you listen to educational material while working-out. He recommends listening to inspirational or instructive podcasts or audio books while exercising.

As I am sure you know, exercising is a great way to get relief from stress; however, for a lot of you, it is not fun stress relief.

I don't enjoy exercising. What about you?

That is why I think Mr. Hardy's suggestion that you listen to informative podcasts and audio books is great advice.

Learning something new makes exercising more enjoyable or fun -- thus, exercise becomes fun stress relief.

My wife, Becky, and I walk on treadmills several times a week. This is an important part of our efforts to live a healthy lifestyle.

However, I find it boring. I don't like doing it.

When we listen to a podcast or audio book or watch a YouTube video or TED Talk, the time goes by much faster -- well, the time doesn't really speed up; it just seems to pass faster because we are not so bored:-)

I'm still not sure I would call walking on a treadmill fun stress relief -- but it is more fun when listening to or watching an interesting presentation.

Exercising your mind is also an important fun stress relief activity.

Your body isn't the only part of you that needs exercise. So does your mind.

Richard O'Connor, PhD, writes in his book, Undoing Perpetual Stress, "Educate yourself. This should be a lifelong task. It's not enough to be smart, you have to be knowledgeable as well." (p. 441)

Feeding your mind with uplifting and edifying information is one aspect of living a balanced life. Living a balanced life is important to managing stress well.

I listen to podcasts, and audio books at times other than just when exercising. I also listen while getting dressed in the mornings and while driving.

The information I listen to usually relates to what I value and the goals I am working on achieving. Thus, I am not only exercising by body and mind; I am also working on a goal or project.

Because I enjoy learning, for me these are fun stress relief activities.

That's why I agree with the quote, "Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning."

So why don't I agree with the quote 100%?

Because, in my opinion, people who are living a less stressful, more balanced, and highly satisfying life seek entertainment as well.

It is not only important to feed and exercise your mind; it is equally important to rest your mind.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 12:12, "Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body." (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

Again, quoting Richard O'Connor, PhD, Undoing Perpetual Stress, "We need play in our lives. Laughter stimulates endocrines and makes life much easier to take. I love to play with my dogs, and that kind of play is good for me too...Jokes can break up an impacted bad mood. Wit can make us see the farcical side of our biggest worries. Spending a few hours playing a board game can help us de-stress as effectively as anything else we can do." (p. 444)

Entertainment is a form of play.

And so, I think extraordinary people seek education, learning, and entertainment.

What do you think?

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