Today’s big idea is that, even when you’re busy and don’t feel like you have a lot of time to do things just for the fun of it, you can increase your experience of fun by tuning in to how fun feels in your body, whether that’s in a little micro moment of fun–say, the kind that comes when you hear your favorite song and start bobbing your head–or in a macromoment of some epically enjoyable adventure, like attending a music festival.
Listen to the Podcast Here
By training yourself to notice how you feel when you’re having fun, you’re doing two important things
You’re increasing your awareness of fun, which helps it have a bigger presence in your life, and you’re also amplifying its benefits because you’re allowing yourself to really soak it in instead of letting it rush by in an instant.
And as an added bonus, developing the skill to really experience how fun feels in your body translates to any feeling, whether it’s boredom, irritation, anger, sadness, or what have you. You may think that you don’t WANT to increase your awareness of these less pleasant emotional states, but learning how to be present with your emotions teaches you how to be present to your whole life. It helps you savor the good stuff and stay grounded during the more difficult times. And it gives you irrefutable evidence that every feeling state is fleeting, which can help you feel a little less whipsawed by your emotions.
You learn that you don’t have to try to get yourself to feel a certain way, or not feel a certain way–you simply notice, get curious, go along with the ride, and come out the other side. It’s like watching a hummingbird visit your garden–it zooms in, it zooms around, and then it zooms off. Nothing to do except see what you can see, and nothing to be other than an objective observer.
To become more aware of how you experience fun in your body, start by taking a look at your fun inventory that you created in Tuesday’s episode
Which was number 533, or if you haven’t listened to that episode yet, think of a couple of things that happened recently that were fun. Once you’ve remembered something recent that felt like a lot of fun at the time, take a moment to remember how you felt physically in that moment. Was your chest light? Were your eyes wide? Could you feel your cheeks because you were laughing? How would you describe your state of mind in that moment? Relive the experience of being in your body in that moment to the extent that you can.
Remembering the sensations of that previous experience can help you notice the next time you experience fun in that moment. Because sometimes, like a hummingbird, fun can zoom right past you, and you only realize it happened once it’s over. But if you know that you experience fun as a fluttering in your chest, recognizing that sensation can essentially be like saying, hey, pay attention, you’re having fun right now! And that’s going to help you appreciate the fun you have even more.
Next week, we’re shifting gears, kind of a lot, and talking about anger. So really soak the experience of some fun into your bones, because that lightheartedness will help make looking at anger a lot less fraught!