We can get so consumed with tennis that we forget to have fun. Even before we reach high school, many of us are taught to repress fun as we go about the serious business of life. Yet the physiology of fun is a close profile to the “zone.”
Laughter, humor, and play are powerful forms of recovery. They enable you to move almost effortlessly from negativity into a positive energy state.
Laughter is a natural breathing technique, and it has a cleansing and revitalizing effect as well. It originates in the solar plexus, the seat of bodily energy. Laughter alternatively relaxes and tightens your muscles and leaves them in a state of relaxation. It releases endorphins, which cause euphoria and reduce pain. Increasing evidence suggest that laughter is good medicine for both the body and the mind.
Here’s a great exercise for you, your teammates and your whole family!
- Take a blank piece of paper and divide it into 4 columns
- Going left to right, name the columns as follows:
- 2-5 minutes
- 5-30 minutes
- 30 minutes to ½ day
- ½ a day or more
- Jot down the things that are fun for you. Put them into the columns below according to the amount of time they take.
- Time how long it takes you to run out of ideas.
- Draw a line when you find the ideas are no longer coming quickly and you have to stop and think a while between ideas.
How many activities did you come up with? You might be interested to know that most busy adults run out of ideas after they’ve thought of 10-15. Ten year olds have easily generated 55 ideas in the same amount of time. How many could you think of quickly before having to really search for ideas?
Count up how many ideas you have in the first two columns and how many you have in the last two columns. Which is the larger number? What does this tell you about the problems you are having finding time for fun on a daily basis.
The last two columns give you ideas for your vacation break. Continue to brainstorm ideas in the first two columns so you’ll have plenty to choose from each day.