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Stop trying to be happy, instead have more fun

In a society that prizes productivity, where busyness becomes a point of pride and the “grind” a badge of honor, fun too often gets cast aside as trifling rather than a vital part of a meaningful life.

In his science-backed guidebook, “The Fun Habit: How the pursuit of Joy and Wonder can Change your Life” organizational psychologist and behavioral scientist Mike Rucker shares evidence for the physical and psychological benefits of prioritizing pleasure

A component of our well-being relies on fun, play and leisure, Rucker argues. His book explains how intentionally increasing joyful moments can improve health, relationships— and even productivity— and offers practical tips, tools and tactics to encourage everyday acts of fun.

Fun isn’t “extra,” Rucker insists. “It’s an act of radical self-care.

Mike Rucker: Happiness is outcome-focused. Too often, instead of mindfully enjoying what life has to offer, we’re using energy to unpack why we are or are not happy. We can get stuck in ruminating on the gap between where we think we are and what we think happiness is supposed to be like.

Fun is less “think” and more “do.” It’s demonstrable, observable, real and immediately within our grasp. Are you drawn to, finding pleasure in and engaged with an activity? That’s fun. Available to anyone at almost any time, fun offers a direct neurological route to improving our well-being.

It doesn’t need to be something whimsical either. Quiet, low-maintenance activities that provide balance and renewal — like gardening, meditating or reading — count as fun.

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