How to increase your playfulness

PLAYFULNESS is a choice. The moment we choose, opportunities for playfulness suddenly show up everywhere.

You don’t have to be funny to be playful. Funny and playful are two different things; they overlap only sometimes.


While both can include laughter and making another laugh, there is a difference. Funny is defined as: amusing, humorous, comical. Playful is defined as: liking play, prone to play frequently, frolicsome.


Everyone can be playful.  While anyone can find the humor in any situation, only some people know how to articulate that in words in a way that comes out amusing.

Playfulness is a mindset. Most people are as playful as they make up their minds to be.


Playfulness is a state of mind – of being present and mindful; of connection and responsiveness; of giving oneself over to the moment, to the other, to the relationship. Life is not about getting there but rather enjoying the ride. 

Playfulness is without ego.  Too often, ego gets in the way of being playful and lighthearted. There’s worrying what other might think of your silliness or bantering. Another way that ego gets in the way is exact expectations; instead playful people take life as it comes and find the humor in any situation.


To be playful you must lower your ego.  You also might lower your ego by being playful.

Give yourself permission to be playful. Yeah, adults can be playful.


Take life seriously, don’t take yourselves so seriously.


Of course, you have to be concerned with all things adulting – bills, household responsibilities, your health, budgets, making appointments, all that.  At the same time, you can still be playful; you can find the humor in all situations. You can be present and serendipitous. You can laugh at the craziness in your life. And at yourself.


There are so many opportunities in this life to laugh. You just have to give yourself the permission to chuckle, grin or even roar with laughter.

Add novelty to your life.

Research shows that novelty–taking risks or trying something new–can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. Yes, there is something to be said about routine and predictability, but novelty spices up life.

Trying new things and experiences adds to your personal growth and expansion.   It can make you more interesting

Do one thing different and you never what adventure may unfold!

Finding that novelty with your spouse is a two-fer: that excitement and the bonding.

Adding playfulness back into your marriage is more about removing barriers to joy than it is adding forced laughter.


You can’t really schedule playfulness. It’s more of a spontaneous, serendipitous kind of thing. To live the playful life, you have to create the setting for it. To do this, you have to be clear on what supports or does not support the type of living you want for yourselves.

Create a lifestyle that allows for the breathing room you need for the mindfulness and presence which are the main ingredients for playfulness. Having some unstructured downtime allows for that spontaneity. Look for ways to reduce your stress and tightly structured schedules.


That lightheartedness might come from a more relaxed lifestyle in terms of priorities.  Perhaps you can relax your standards of neatness in favor of playfulness. Or work a little less so you can have a more relaxed atmosphere at home. Or less carpooling the kids from activity to activity.  Shop less or have it delivered.

Do what feels natural to you; you can’t force playfulness. There’s no right way to be playful.


Some people like throwing snowballs, others just don’t.  Some like board games. Others like knock-knock jokes.  For some, rolling on the floor with the kids is fun. Others rather bake. Or do science experiments.


For some, throwing around flour while baking may be playful and others will balk at the thought of that.

Take the What is your Playful Type quiz for ideas based on your playful type. (next)
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