Last week I took the opportunity to walk to the beach before I started work. I think there must have been a storm the night before because the waves were massive and the humid air thick with salt. The walk to the beach from my house is a few minutes down streets, through a beautiful park, then down the steps past the swings and voila! I am at the beach.
Only this day I didn’t make it past the swings, instead I sat down, my headphones delivering the sweet sounds of Arcade Fire, closed my eyes and started to swing. It took me a minute or two to remember how to use my body and gravity to get smooth height and another minute to let go of the sense of vertigo and fear that had accumulated with years of grounded adult living.
After a while, at the top of the up bit, I opened my eyes, and all I could see was sky and sea and horizon and as I exhaled I experienced a sense of absolute mind blowing joy. I must have been a sight leaving the park; swaying, my legs all wobbly and giddy and a massive grin on my face.
The feeling of elation stayed with me all day, no wonder kids love the swings… From a young age we squeal with delight at being thrown in the air and spun around, begging to be hung upside down or be let out to swing from ropes and climb in trees, but then hit the workforce and for the most part we just stop. We may play sports or go to the gym but on the most part we start relying on our emotions and good things happening to get that rush.
It is a well-known fact that physical exercise benefits the brain with a release of blissful endorphins (among other things). Your feelings and attitude are crucial to your productivity and success in achieving your goals, so make sure that you include a good dose of endorphins as part of your daily routine, regardless of how busy you are. I am not a big fan of running, so here are some slightly more fun ways to get your fix.
Fun physical ways to maintain a blissful brain and feel like a teenager again
- Tickle wars – but be careful, the last time John tickled me I involuntarily punched him in the mouth!
- Attempting lifts like in Dirty Dancing – again please be careful, you need a strong boy and a girl with a good back – oops! I found this was less dangerous in the pool
- Any sort of swings, slides & waterslides
- Rollercoasters, roller skating and ice skating
- Tree climbing, playing tag and general frolicking
- Rolling down sand dunes or being pushed in shopping trollies
- Any sort of trampoline or those bouncy harness things (exhausting!)
- Paint ball or laser strike (even more exhausting!)
- Food fights & water fights
- Any sort of wrestling, especially when you are laughing so much you can hardly breath
When was the last time you gave your brain a shot of endorphins? When was the last time you had a good wrestle?
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