Playfulness Leads to Happiness
dancing home. So we start every day off with dancing because it releases are endorphins and it's a sneaky way to power post and we're in day number three. So day number three is all about play. And this is, I think, one of my hair days. I can't pick a favorite. They're all like little Children. You can't pick a favorite, but this is a pretty good one. So so far we did the Now how mindset on day number one, where we kind of learned what do what are the actual activities that make us happy And they number two. We did our skill temperatures, hopefully a home. He's filled out your skill temperature chart and you found your top natural talents. Day number three is all about play. And for this my goals air pretty pretty easy. This is about freedom. So yesterday we talked a lot about capable and power, and those are all great. But I want to give us a little bit of more freedom to relax and have fun. We're gonna play together. I think we all only a little bit of silliness and joy in our life. ...
Of course, we start every day with a warm up, and today's warm up has to do with music. We talked a little bit about music and Day one. Here's my warm up question for you at home. Alina. Write down what songs pop up for you. You had to pick one song to remind you of the happiest time in your life. Now this is a double headed question, right? Cause it's like what was the happiest time of my life? Is the first question. Then what's a song and extremely a song from your childhood? What? Any songs that pop up real quickly? What have you guys in the audience? Our time, right? Happy? Yeah. Oh, yeah, totally. If I could play it, I would totally play out of love. I won't sing it. I was about to sing. It was about to come out. I won't do it. It was interesting, cause I'm not sure it's the happiest time with the song that came into my head was a song and like fourth grade called carrot stew like a like a kids song. Yes, it's like a kids song. Actually, Now I will sing it like as a joke, but I like when I'm happy, I sing carrots to like you find it on like you do for me and tomorrow playing for me. Okay. One here cared. So, Yeah, it's not one particular song, but during my childhood, my older brother, my younger sister there was a lot of Paula Abdul. There was a lot of Michael Jackson. There was a lot of Whitney Houston the era. Oh, yeah. I love doing it out. Dancing rounds love it. And so these songs, what's funny about them, is it? And we're gonna talk about the science of songs. The songs actually access a very specific part of our brain context dependent memory. So we're gonna talk about why songs are so powerful. Another question for you. What was your very first concert? Some. I'm mine. Waas 98 degrees. I don't know anyone remember 98 degrees, but I had posters of boy bands all over my walls. That was my first concert. My first CD, By the way, It was Alanis Morissette. What for? So little pill, Right? Okay. What would a little pill? Jagged little pill. Sorry. Yes, I was shorten it. A little super fan. So, what was your first concert. The first concert. Alanis Morissette. Any in the first concerts? Yeah, that's a really cool one. Like most evils First concepts, concepts like minor like I'm embarrassed to say it any other one. Many like Milli Vanilli or like no yeah, dirty dancing Dirty Dancing concert. That's pretty great, pretty great. So the reason I bring up these is because the power of music is actually a really great small, powerful happiness lover. And I actually think that ties into a lot of play. There's there's a sense of freedom that goes with music inside. I wanted to put it in this day, specifically, music they found. When people listen to music, it triggers a very sick part of the hippocampus, and this is called context dependent memory. So somehow music is tied to not the sound itself. Actually, where we were when we first heard it refers enjoyed that song. So listening to music from the happiest time in your life can trigger the same happy chemicals off that time. If you remember that happy time in your life and you listen, that music actually brings up all the endorphins of going back there. It's a beautiful way to reminisce. So the reason I asked you about your favorite music from Happy Times actually want you to come up with your own little playlist, if you will. I have a bunch of playlists that I create that remind me of happy memories. And there is research done on the happiest making songs in other words, the songs that trigger the most brain activity on. We have a link to that on our day happiness challenge. So come up with your little playlists. Tweet me your playlist if you make it and then also check out the songs that scientifically make you the happiest. It's a really, really fun playlist. The other part of music's There's listening to music and there's singing music, and both are very happy producing. So we all know this song. By the way, I had to pick songs that were in the free copy, right? So can we just get a little warm up? Sing the songs already. Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily. Life is but a dream, but we never had that on creative life before. How about this different version? Let's try this one row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. If we see a crocodile, don't forget to scream, and then this one, Let's not sing it because I found this version and I was like, Let's not do that. One like that is a cruel version of row, row, row, your boat and that terrible it was like, Oh, God, I'm not gonna sing that. So here's the fun thing about singing Science says that singing is also something that makes us happy. It's a different way of performing music. In fact, singing releases endorphins, which improves our mood. The other study that I found here was that people who sang together shared more sounds like wow as an audience. Since I am your partner enjoying where our partners enjoy figure. We got to do a little singing together to share more. So what I want to do. And I haven't done this since elementary school. Are you guys ready to play with me for a second? All right, so here's what we're gonna do. And you at home. I want you to sing with me as well. So you guys are group number one. OK, you guys are Group number two. We are a group number three and at home you are group number three with us. So we're going to We're gonna sing three versions. So urine do roar about three times and we're gonna start a different times, right? This is the classic Herbal tea. Ready. All right, Ready? Go. Stream, row, Row your boat Gently down the stream Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily Life Is that a dream? Row, row, Row your boat Gently down the stream Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily Life is but a dream Oh, good guys. Yes. So just doing that. And I hope you sung at home with us that change something in our brain. First release a couple of endorphins. Second, it actually helps us with that feeling of belonging, which we're going to talk about in week seven. So thank you for playing with me on that. I figured we had to start off with an activity that got us a little bit out of our comfort zone a little bit, because today we're gonna be talking about that. Here's the problem with play. Is that we often as adults, put play last on the list. If on the list at all right, but isn't on our list of to do items? Does that make us more productive or, like, who has time for play slash What is play right? Like, how do we even do that? Even if I wanted to, I wanted to bring up a study here. That I think is the reason I think it's tied toe. Why we don't value play as much. That has to do with our Dr on the hedonic treadmill. This is a really interesting study. What they did is they sent out these long lists of consumer items. So everything from a large TV tow a boat to a car to a lawn mower to a hot tub, right long list of consumer items. And they had people look at this list and check off every item they owned. Then what they did is they had them check off in a different column every item that would be part of their ideal life. I will say that someone owned a TV, but thought, man, if I just had a jet ski, I will have made it. So they checked off every item that would have been part of their ideal life. For 16 years they had people, they said, recent than this list every 60 every year for 16 years. And, of course, people started to accumulate items on their list. What they found WAAS is that over 16 years, people usually started with about 1. items, which grew to about 3.1 items on that list over 16 years, people have accumulated about two items. However, no matter how many items people had their desired items for the ideal or the good, life increased at the same rate. It's the first time they took the survey. They might have checked off two items. A jet ski and, ah, an RV Airstream to go around the world the next time. Maybe they got the jet ski. This time it was an Airstream in a vacation home, and the next time right, and it kept going up. So it was always We're always just just two items away, for my are ideal life. No one in the study send it back and said, I'm good. I don't need any more of these items. I think that what this explains to us, we've heard of the hedonic treadmill before, right? We're on this kind of constant need for more. This puts it in very measurable terms that we always feel like we're just too short. And I think that that's why we go all play later. Right? Playing doesn't get me anything. There's nothing that comes out of play. It's not productive to sound familiar. Anyone so green and red cards. Yeah, for most of us, it's okay if it doesn't. Yeah, I like. That's why I wanted to get sort of, ah, temperature of you guy of your audience on the audience. So this skill is about playing and not paying about doing activities that give us an emotional reward and possibly not a physical reward. And they are free. I don't believe play is a luxury. I think it is a necessity. I love that quote. So my big idea is it. Any of us can incorporate plan toe our lives as adults, and here's how has to do with your inner kid things. Me playing. By the way. My mom texted me after she watched Day One, and she was like, I love all the pictures like Mom, there's more coming. Just get excited so a child laughs over 300 times per day. Adults laugh 17.5 times per day. The saddest part about this study is I looked at this and I was like, 17.5 would be great, right? Like I actually saw that number. And I didn't think like how low I was like how high? Which is like a terrible thing. So this is about getting more of that freedom. I think laughter comes from freedom. I'm curious. You guys at home, You in the audience? What did she want? To be a za kid? Do you remember what you wanted to be? I wanted to be a teacher. Just kind of funny. I teach most of the time now. You anyone remember what they wanted to be? At a simple dream. I wanted to marry a man who owns a gum company, cause I always loved gum on my mama. Never had. Let me have a go. Why didn't you own the gum company? There you go. Yeah, you Do You still love gum? Yes. That's like the best childless. I've never heard that one before. Who else doesn't? Yes. Yes. I wanted to be Catwoman. a cat Cat. Woman? Yeah. I want to be Catwoman. Yeah. Have you been her for Halloween? Yes. Catwoman. I didn't even know that was a profession you could sign up for. But I like it. Owner of a gun company and Catwoman. Who else? What else we want? Yeah, Is either a teacher or a ballet dancer? Oh, yeah. Spell eight. Answer. I wanted to be a nice gator, and I don't even know how to ice skate, which is like a very also very that was, like, fleeting. That was like a month long. By the way, this one of the best conversation charters. You can ask someone When I asked you this question when this question popped up, I don't know if you guys noticed at home, but your faces were like Like, it somehow is freeing. Just this question feels freeing. Why? Because it takes us back to a time where there was no how much my gonna make. Is that easy to dio? What's the education requirement for that? Is it practical? Is it possible it actually takes us back to that time where we had so much of mental and emotional, emotional and mental freedom. So here's what plays about. I think it's about these four things when we talk about play as adults, What I'm talking about is a mindset just like the one we tapped into a moment ago, where we're able to explore where there's no wrong answers were able to say God would be great to be Catwoman. I wonder if that mass would get itchy on your face, right? Like you're able to actually just totally explore that any wrong answers. We are able to experiment, and today I'll be talking a lot about experimentation. I think the way we play as adults is by setting up tiny experiments. Right when we try something out, we don't know if it's gonna work or not, and there's no wrong answer because the artisan the means not the end, right? The art is in the actual trying, and that is what it is to play as an adult. There are so many benefits of play. I mean, I could have listed dozens and dozens of bullet points here, but just a few they find that play increases focus during our work. Students who have had a great play time during recess are better able toe learn in class, so play is not a distraction. It's on an exception from work. It actually amplifies our work. Play helps us be more creative. Play helps us with others, right every time we play with them were able to get more into their feeling, especially make believe when we were a little Please, the easiest way to burn calories. I don't if you ever have this, but you're playing a game. You don't even realize you're exercising. And I love this study it from 2009. So they found that the more physical activity test students can pass, in the words of faster I can run the mile. The more pushups taken do the more pull ups they can dio, the more likely they are to do well on academic tests. There seems to be a correlation. We don't know about causation, but a correlation between the two. So this tells us that play is not a wasted activity. Let's do a couple questions. I wanna get your cards ready. I have a couple of these in a row, So do you have enough plain your life? Does anyone feel like they do all right. A couple people. All right, Mostly reds. A couple greens, which is great. How about do you have free if you have free time? Do you know exactly how to spend it? Mix do Dio is a good one. Suits in one time. So when you have free time, do you know how to spend it When you have free time? Do you actually spend it the way that you want? Interesting, Interesting nuance of a question. Do you have fun regularly? That's regularly, whatever that means to you. Raring Curious, little evenly split. Okay, so at home, I hope what I have done in your workbook is we're gonna start our next big activity. And this is placed Army. This is pillar number three in your workbook. So I have a couple of different warmup activities. Do you have enough playing your life? We just ask the audience, but actually want you to go in depth on those warm up play activities and figure out exactly where plays in your life. Now I want you to turn to You are placed. Arming Page is a very, very long list. So the biggest complaint or confusion that I would get when I would tell people I'm starting. Talk about happiness is they would say, You know, I just don't even know where to start. I have no idea. Or I would say, OK, let's think about a talent. They would say I'm a good listener And I would say, OK, what could you do to use that skill more blank? So I developed this based on your skill chart, to have a hundreds of activities to start to think about. So what I want you to do in a couple different things with this place storming chart one is I want you to go to your foreign fives, the skills that you ranked quite highly. And I want you to think about what activities could you do to exercise those skills. And I want you to play with the ideas in the steps, right? The whole point of this exercise is question that maybe you're not sure if something will work or not. And that's okay, too. Here is how we're gonna coat it. A check mark on this list means you already do it. Okay, So you already this is a part of your life and you already do it. Ah, plus, Mark means you want to do more of it. So it sounds like an activity that you would like No questions asked. You would want to do more of that activity. A minus means not for me, right? My exercise of skill. But this activity doesn't really interest me. And a question mark. This is the really exciting ones means maybe, Right. Maybe this could work. I'm not. I haven't tried it. I'm not sure I want to try it again. I used to do this, and I'm not sure. Let me give you an example. So one of the skills from your skill chart is openness. Does anyone really was open this really high for anyone for five? Okay, good. I think also, I knew that people would be here today. Probably would have a lot of high opens. So high openness. That was the skill. Let's pretend that you had a on openness here. The activities that I have ideas of for you Ask a bartender to help you find your favorite cocktail. So let's say Oh, yeah, I already do this. I constantly ask recommendations from bartenders and wait staff I already do that a lot. Pick out one magazine you've never read. You know, I'm not into reading. I'm trying not into reading magazines. I'm trying to say paper. Like, for example, I just recently canceled all my magazine subscriptions. This one? Not for me. Right. But make a list of all the restaurants in your zip code that you haven't tried Who? Now, that's something I could try on Yelp. I would like to do more of that right now. I think I flipped him, actually. So plus, sign means you want to do more of it. This means you already tried all the restaurants, create or find your signature scent. No, that is something that I've never tried. But that could be a fun one to research. Right? So I want you to go through this list and start to code each of these things with these plus minus is and check marks, you'll also notice beneath each skill I have blanks. So I have what are ways you could tried exercise this skill in your life in the skill chart? I asked you what you already do in the place storming chart. I'm gonna ask you What could you dio if you're having trouble with this section? If you're looking at these and you're just drawing a blank on the blanks, I want you to think, What would you advise your friend to dio if they asked you, How could I do this? Sometimes it's hard to think about stuff for ourselves, but it's easier to find someone else. So here, for example, let's say that I was like, I'm high open. I want exercise it. Maybe I could make my bucket list. That could be a really fun activity to help with 100 I am bucket list. Maybe I could ask for a new assignment at work where I could try to ask for a new skill in my job. Maybe I could try to learn one new recipe every week, Right? Cesaire? Really specific things that I could do if I want. Exercise this skill. So I want to take a moment. I asked the audience before we sat down to look through and find their number one skill in the play storming chart and pick something that sounded like something they could try. So what do you mind sharing your skill with me, Anna Activity you would be willing to try in that little skill area. This goes with my line to build community goto a meet up on a topic that interests me. All right, so, going on, meet up searching a topic and being like, I'm gonna go to that meeting. Yep. I was a little scary, but it's also exciting. Yeah. Yes, that is a perfect question. Mark Activity. What, you gonna search and meet up? I'm just curious. I don't know. Um, something around. Probably mindfulness. Okay. I would also encourage you to use your chart of happiness. So look at your chart of happiness. And if one of those those things is reading or reading a fiction book, join a fiction book club. If one of those is cooking to a cooking club, right? So actually use what we've already done to find those things. Should be really great. Another one. What's in there? Another skill that someone had. Yes, someone was creativity. Uh huh. And I recently had a group put together items I most improved your life for $100 or less. And because everybody had this in a text form, it was kind of hard to read all the different answers. I made a Pinterest board with all of them and links to the I don't know that is such a good one allow. So it's the item that change your life the most under $100. Gosh, that's a good conversation. Starter. I'm turning into a pincher sport. I love it. Okay, Someone else was a skill you had And some idea that you want to try It could be something It could be something you've done or something out of your comfort zone. Whichever one you want who haven't heard from Natalie, tell me what's yours was one of your skills. I think it's hard to pronounce World contains conscientious. It's really hard to Celia Andi I would refer to like I always organized so we can treat it like, look up for places to stay toe, find some not so obvious things to see finding the hidden Jim adventurers and I like And that is absolute conscientious and openness. Are you also high open? Ah, it's tricky for me. So interesting. So if you're a medium in open like you're like three and open that actually can if you're organized about it can get you to be more open. They make sense. So I'm also like, if I'm really organized about something, I'm much more willing to try it and take the leap. That makes me feel a little more confident with the openness. So they also tie together one more. Yes. I wanted to go and find a place. A foster home. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And do portrait's for the kids because they don't They don't get that. Well, come and talk to somebody who works with foster kids that they come with all the things in a plastic bag and that's it. And they have the baby pictures they don't even have. Like if they have a friend in the system, they don't have a BFF pictures. They don't get to go to the mall and get prettied up. And, um, something I would like to start that I love it. So if that is both generosity, a skill that's also your creativity, right, Like taking beautiful photographs and that will also tie into day number six year cause champions. So we're gonna really I love that one. So there are hundreds of things in this list the whole point. I had one of sitting down to make the play storming chart. I was like, OK, I know about choice paralysis, right, Too many choices. But I was also like, I never want someone to say I don't have enough ideas, so we're gonna pick one or two to focus on. But as you're filling out, the chart I want to do is many question marks and plusses as you possibly can write as many as you possibly can. I love this quote By Oliver Wendell Holmes. Men do not quit playing because they grow old. They grow old because they quit playing. Play keeps us young. That keeps that freedom going. How many of you felt like when you were doing this list? And he thought of your activities actually got you kind of excited to think about doing them. So as I was even writing this list and some of those things wouldn't even appeal to me, I got excited, right? It gets you excited because it triggers that hope in that curiosity, which is an essential part of happiness. So here's what we're gonna do after you fill out your entire place. Charming chart I want you to pick 123 So if one feels like a lot, that's totally fine. If one doesn't feel like enough three at the most, I want you to pick 123 question marks or pluses of all and hopefully in your skill area so we can stay using your natural talent. I want you to pick someone that you can experiment with a little experiment you can set up for yourself. What could make me feel? That's kind of what you're thinking. What could make me feel excited? What could make me feel capable, proud, silly, playful, happy if you can try to have one of those be a potential failure. And by that I mean some of these aren't gonna work, and that's exactly what you want to know. It's the process, the experiment of trying it. That's what play is. So if you can pick one of those where you're like, Wow, I could really not like this, but I could also really love it. One of those for me, for example, is a tango. So I had heard a lot about Tango. One of my friends take tango classes in Portland and She's like coming to tangle with me. And I was like, I don't know, like, that's like, really close with strangers and you know all these things and she's like, you know, and you have to follow. And I was like, I'm not good at that, you know, like I am. I don't know if I could do that Takes total trust in a stranger. So I went to this class and I was like, This could be the worst thing I've ever done or the best thing I've ever done. And as I was doing it, I thought to myself, This is the best thing I've ever done and the worst thing I've ever done. I actually had that feeling while doing it, and now I'm kind of addicted to it because it's totally out of my comfort zone. But it also pushes me out of my comfort zone. And I'm not an adrenaline junkie, so I encourage you to find activities where you're really on the edge. That is what a true happiness experiment is. Tomorrow, tomorrow we're gonna be talking about control, so I purposely put play in control right next to each other because they're kind of the opposite. Right play is about freedom and being silly and control is about maximising and minimising. We're gonna be talking about how do we bring more structure into our play life? And yes, it is possible. Here's my challenge. One, as I said, will fill in your place storming chart to please schedule. And I do mean schedule not just think about start the process of planning one of your plus or questions activities. This could be texting a partner. Enjoy. This could be Googling a meet up and see what was on their calendar for the day. Try to get that first step rolling about scheduling. If you can loop in your partner, enjoy. Have them to your accountability partner for you. Bonus. We talked about music at the very beginning of the day. I would love to know your theme song for the year, so we have a year ahead the next 12 months. What do you want your theme song to be? I would love to know so we can set up Ah, happy trigger for this upcoming year. You can also do a song for this course as well. So let's talk about what the most important thing you learned today was So what Happy Ah ha's did you have at home? I would love it if you could tweet me your happy Ah ha's And I will give a free copy away to everyone who does. All 10 days of my book will start here in the audience. So was some happy Ah ha's today even looking at your place storming chart anything? Ah ha for you. Yeah, I love the notion of reframing play to the exploration, especially in circumstances that are outside of my comfort zone. Um, because exploration, like, takes the pressure off. Yes. So I think that we we often as adults, when I say the word play, we think it's like running through a ball pit like, you know, going down a slide. Like, you know, doing something is a very tile dish, and it can be that right. Please go to a ball pit, go down a slide. But exploration ads sort of ah, adult angle to it. I'm glad that makes you feel more comfortable. Yes, putting together a music list and, um, just driving to the music lists every time I think about it, not just in the morning or but just, you know, turning it on because it's so accessible. Yeah, on the second thing was, um, realizing how much less adults laugh more than than kids and trying to catch up with kids and they as long as much as I can get 300 times a day, right? You know, it's interesting talking about the playlist as you were talking. I was like, What if we could make like, the soundtrack to our life? You know, like what? If you could say, like, what song defines every period or every year of my life? I had to go back so that every year you add a new song to that playlist. That would be a really cool exercise. Activity could explain your life in songs. All right, anyway, yes, when you shared in the science and the statistics on the benefits of play, Yeah, in Children and adults in an academic setting and in a corporate setting. And it makes me feel like there's just so much play to be done. Yeah, and you know, when you look at schools where kids are suffering with their scores, their test scores and the first thing to go with the lack of funding is recess. And if they could just see this data and believe in it, how much of a difference that could make for the future of Children being ableto have better test scores by having the opportunity to play? And what's the first thing that leaves our list when we have to get a lot done? Is the play right when we have to get a lot done, we take away our own recess were like, No, no fun at lunch today. Got a say in and work tonight Can't do anything this weekend, So typically when we have to get the most done were the most stressed We take away the thing that will actually refuel us And that is what we're gonna talk about tomorrow with minimizing any questions So far, Yes. What if you wanted to rope somebody into doing a new activity with you? Yeah, give me tips for that. Because I've always wanted to try curling. But that's not a usual thing that people like to dio. How would you go about doing that? Okay. Well, first of all, I am so glad that you want to try curling. Never done it before. I heard it's actually very fun anyway. Second is I actually think that you wanted bringing people where their natural talent is openness. So if you are already trying a new activity and you bring someone else who is not high open, it can sometimes make you even more nervous because that's not their natural talent. So what I would do if I were you is I would actually not necessarily start with the activity back to start with the person. So think of who is the highest open person in your life, or even highest open person who, like, is a friend of a friend. So put out like the word for that. You know, Do you want to try new activities? Anyone open to doing a totally random crazy Friday night with me whatever. And then I would bring up three or four activities with curling being one of them. The other way to do it, of course, is to throw out the cast the net of I want to try curling as anyone else interested. I think that will be harder to find someone than trying to just find someone who is already open, then you're giving them a gift. Right? Then you're looping in someone where they might have not used their natural talent. You're actually gonna give them a way to use it by having them go on an adventure with you. So what are the tapes for? People who are like overachiever. And they do so many things that, like when they say for minutes in Akash, they feel like this white inside them. And I'm one of them. Yeah, so is the question. How do you do less? You have more time for play because those things are not play. Or how do you add in play when you're already busy? You know, it's like it's playing its playing all the time. And the problem is like when you see, like still for 10 minutes, you feel such a Lloyd inside? Yeah, just It's just hard. Yes. So what I would do is, actually, since you're already doing so, there's kind of two challenges you're talking about. Play there is getting someone to do something in the first place, right? And then there's actually savoring or anticipating the events that you're not. So visit your sapping out all the enjoyment. Sometimes you're doing so much. Either you feel empty when it's not happening. You have that void or you don't actually get any enjoyment out of it because you're so busy doing one thing to the next, I would say, And I want to talk about this in day five for Wow is you want to find more ways to savor each and every activity. So is there ways you can build more anticipation, that activity right? But either scheduling it ahead of time or talking about it more Is there a way toe lengthen or capitalizing the activity by extending it a few seconds longer? I think that sometimes busy nous feels like a ah substitution for feeling. But actually savoring and having those moments last a little bit longer is better. It's that kind of answer the question so I would try toe build out each those activities a little bit more if you can. The other questions OK, so tomorrow we're gonna be talking about control. Please fill out your place storming activity. Don't forget to tweet me your happy Ah ha moments and I will see you guys tomorrow if you want to stand up for a little dancing outro and at home, please give us a little dancing Teoh to the fly, right? Like whoa!