Pleasure, Play and Mental Health

Why is it important to enjoy the things we do and do the things we enjoy? When we engage in activities that we take pleasure in, we pause the stressful thoughts of our everyday lives and allow our minds to completely focus on the pleasure the fun activity creates. Pleasure is a response our brain produces after we combine our desire to do something with the satisfaction of doing it.

Engaging in fun, safe and healthy activities, similar to play time we had as children, helps us activate the pleasure centers in our brains. In return, this keeps us alert, increases our creativity and ability to learn new things, and helps us to better cope with stressful events in the future.

Find time in your schedule to do at least one fun activity a day!

  • Good for our bodies: dancing, biking, hiking
  • Good for our mind: doing a crossword puzzle, reading, painting
  • Good for our mental health: laughing, relaxing, socializing

Information courtesy of National Institutes of Health