Having fun is the most underrated element of well-being
If we're getting fancy, it's called eustress - and it matters more than happiness.
DD HQ here. Have you ever thought that your well-being habits have to feel hard in order for them to work?
You know what we mean; many of us have grown up with this “no pain, no gain” mentality that’s seeped into all that we do - whether it’s the way we tackle our email inbox or power through a workout. We’re taught that difficulty and struggle is what makes is stronger.
But, what if we told you that enjoyment is a substantial element of our well-being; one that can impact everything from our perception of pain to our longevity?
Enjoyable activities aren’t trivial - they’re essential for our health, performance + fulfillment. And, it’s our mission at Daydreamers to not only redefine the way we think about creativity and fun, but turn it into a scientific, hardcore practice.
If this all sounds too good to be true, remember that having fun isn’t necessarily easy (we’ll get to why in a moment).
But, before we dive into it from a scientific POV, don’t forget to sign up for a chat with our co-founders to see if you’re a fit for the most fun way to workout your brain (in our humble opinion!). Jumping the line is available, for free, for a limited time to our Head in the Clouds subscribers 🙃
Pause and think about what you consider fun (and maybe, what you might have considered fun ten years ago 😅).
We kid, we kid - but this simple question illustrates the power, beauty and sometimes, confusion behind what we collectively define as fun. Fun, at the core of it, is subjective.
No matter how much the idea of what’s considered ‘fun’ may evolve, scientists can agree on one thing: having fun is an actionable, accessible way to strengthen our well-being. Think of it this way: “Happiness is a state of mind, but fun is something you can do. It doesn't require education, money or power. All it requires is intentionality. If happiness is a mirage, fun is your backyard oasis."
Enjoyable activities have been shown to impact our physical, emotional and psychological well-being in a variety of ways. At the core of it, when we have fun we’re physiologically reducing the ‘bad’ kind of stress, while releasing our feel-good neurotransmitters.
This doesn’t only help us feel better, but literally changes the structure of our bodies. For example, some studies even suggest that the serotonin released from enjoyable activities can promote neurogenesis, or positive cell growth in our brain.
And, consistently prioritizing fun impacts our health for the long-term, too. In a 15-year study published out of Norway, researchers found that those who prioritized humor, laughter and fun had a lower risk of death from heart disease. They hypothesize that fun enhances our immune response, and literally makes us stronger. How cool is that?!
If you’re convinced, but enjoyment still feels a little too far from your work-sleep hamster wheel life, you might be surprised to learn that having fun is something that comes natural to us humans. We’re wired to seek out pleasure, but, especially as we get older and progressively more stressed, we see fun as binary - if it’s not easy (i.e. laying on my couch), it’s not fun.
At Daydreamers, we think about enjoyment on a spectrum, from effortful to effortless. We based our ideas on this 1985 concept of ‘levels of fun’ from the outdoor community - reminding us that laughing with friends, making a clay pot or writing a book can all hold elements of fun, depending on how far away we are from the challenge 😅.
The liberating part to us is that having fun can look different for every one of us, and it can change as you change, too. But, prioritizing it - no matter what phase of life you’re in - rather than viewing it as a thing of the past is key.
Gloria Steinem once said, “laughter is proof of freedom.” So, no matter if you’re stuck in the repetitive rat race or fighting against injustice, we’ll leave you with this thought: rest might be an act of resistance, but enjoying ourselves? It’s the way we reclaim the core essence of our humanity.
Ready to challenge the status quo by simply having more fun? Us too 🛸
Katina + Dupi
and the entire team @ DD HQ
Want a hardcore-but-enjoyable practice that strengthens your mental flexibility, creativity and is most importantly, fun? You’re in the right place. Head in the Clouds subscribers, for a limited time, get direct access to signing up for a free chat with our co-founders to see if you’re a fit for DD Early Access. Sign up while it lasts 🧠
An idea to noodle on 💭
High quality, enjoyable leisure isn’t frivolous
THINK ON THIS: Enjoyable activities impact our mind and body so much, they can reduce pain. Seriously. Some doctors even recommend ‘humor therapy’ as a nonpharmacological way of managing chronic physical pain. The added benefit? It’s also shown to increase connection, happiness and hope (casual stuff).
…MAYBE NOT THAT: Enjoyment and ease aren’t one in the same. While some types of enjoyable activities are easy and effortless (hello Level 1 fun 👋🏽), fun can be challenging, too. The type of fun that pushes the boundaries is often associated with flow, and can elicit something called ‘eustress’ - the good kind of stress. Eustress, first discovered in 1975, helps us feel energized, inspired and resilient. That’s, in part, our kind of fun @ DD HQ 🙃
Inside our brains at DD HQ 🧠
A DD-approved POV: how to feel alive again. The answer to enhancing your creativity has nothing to do with work (we could have told you that 😅). Can robots really help with mental health - or does it require human imagination? We’ve been randomly curious about the synesthesia side of Tiktok - this is what seeing ‘music’ in color form might feel like. And yes, nostalgia is that powerful.
Ideas from the DD Crew 🛸
We hear about the impact that creativity, fun + flow has on our Early Access members’ lives so often, we forget how immensely powerful it can be to those outside of our Universe. Here’s one of our favorite POVs 🥲:
“Daydreamers has helped me expand my view of what being creative means and has helped me incorporate creativity into my daily life. Over the past few months, I've been able to really work on my mental health and express my feelings through different creative practices. My Daydreamers guide offered me a lot of emotional support during a difficult transitional period of my life and overall, my creative practice has helped me realize that it’s okay not to be perfect. My experience with Daydreamers has truly been nothing but amazing.”
We’re crying tears of joy 😭 Join us here!