11 Reasons Gaming is Healthy

11 Reasons Gaming is Healthy

We have all heard about the debates about the negative and positive effects of gaming. It is true that video games cause more health troubles than benefits. That is caused if you spend too much time sitting while playing video games. Even so, we should all be enjoying with right kind of games in our free times. If you try to limit your game playing time to 1 or 2 hours a day it can have a lot of good impact on your lives. Check out how video game play can be part of a balanced, well-rounded life with the 11 reasons below!

 

  1. Helps develop a sense of identity and characteristics

It is no surprise that longtime gamers often have some common characteristics. Does that sound familiar to you? There is a reason for it if your answer is yes. Games you play affect your characteristics through the years without you realising [1]. Furthermore, gaming becomes a part of your identity at the same time. It is true that some people depict gamers in a very negative stereotypical manner. Most of the time people consider gamers as the contemporary nerd group. They spend their days and nights in their closed room, eating only chips and energy drinks. That is not true at all! In the recent years, this title has managed to break this stereotype. Nowadays, it defines a broader gaming community and culture. And it is not only about the group’s idiosyncrasies, traditions, and social practices.
  1. Improves motor skills, visual abilities, and hand-eye coordination

Studies suggest that gamers have a superior reaction time and decision making skills. A recent research published in Psychological Science, can explain the reasoning behind it. Playing action-packed video games has an immense effect on your visual motor skills. This skills are especially useful for driving and similar activities [2]. Further benefits to your visual abilities include sensitivity to contrast and visuospatial attention.  Gaming is also a great way to improve your hand-eye coordination. Most of us could use some gaming activity to improve their hand-eye coordination. As we all know, many adults spend time in front of screenon their free times. Instead, by gaming, enjoying in front of the screen also can help you improve at same time!
  1. Keeps you happier and healthier when you’re old

We all have one thing in common: Aging. Being older and mature has a lot of benefits but it comes with a lot of natural problems and health issues over time. We are all recommended that a healthy diet and exercise routine to help our bodies stay younger when we get old. Gaming is the same for your mind! Playing games for 10 hours through five to eight weeks can slow the decline by several years [3].
3D platform, strategy and puzzle games can help to prevent many old age health issues. Mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease is some of them. Furthermore, there’s even the potential that video games could provide seniors physical exercises. Modern consoles can help keep both body and mind in shape. Now, it is a great opportunity to include your older relatives into your gaming routine!

 

  1. Reduces stress and depression and generates positive feelings

Most gamers report that playing video games is a way to relieve stress. Video games can provide us with a safe and fun outlet for developing our emotional awareness and coping skills. A new study from the U.K. found that playing video games helps young people better cope with stress and life [4]. It is true that many studies disagree and claim the games increase violent thoughts and tendencies, there is a fine line to both sides. It matters how much you play and what you play. For example, it is best for casual gamers to consider games with simple challenges, short matches of game-play or single player games. Such games can offer a quick break, a challenging-but-not-stressful experience, and a change in focus.

If you are looking into socializing while gaming , you can look into cooperative games. This way you can create your own network of gaming friends.  There are also games created particularly to help players learn to manage stress. With these games, you can apply the information or techniques given in the game in your life to cope with your daily stress. Most importantly, try to spend your free hours for the games you love and enjoy the most. It is the best solution to feel more positive and reduce your stress [5].

 

 

  1. Improves decision making and helps to make faster decisions

Video games help a great deal on your decision-making process. Games act as an interactive training exercise together with traditional training methods. Furthermore, playing action video games trains people to make the right decisions faster. The researchers found that video game players develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them. It improves a wide variety of general skills that can help with everyday activities like multitasking, driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating around town [6]. Studies also state that strategy games can be very useful to train your brain. This way, you can become agiler and improve strategic thinking at the same time.

 

 

  1. Improves teamwork ability

Yes, you haven’t read it wrong! Online games, help you develop your teamwork ability, improve the sense of strategy, concentration and leadership skills [7]. Cooperative games, are perfect because they involve challenges that can be completed with other players. Working together to achieve a common goal with your friends can be comforting and empowering. Not only that you can game to spend time with your real-life friends, you can also start new friendships with people you have teamed up with.

How you are playing the game is more important than how much you are playing it or what you are playing to help you build this skill and your relationships. If you are playing competitive rather than cooperative gaming, it may not be very easy to improve your teamwork or leadership skills. Gaming is also a very good activity for couples, as it creates another activity to end boredom. It also helps to improve your relationship if you are trying to succeed a task together.

 

 

  1. Supports self-confidence

Computer games help raise self-esteem. Some games are designed for this particular reason, but many other games can be useful too! Many games can help you realize your intelligence and abilities. For example, researchers from the Brock University found that adolescents who play sports video games show enhanced self-esteem and confidence and are more likely to get involved in athletics. The study’s authors attributed these gains to the safe environment sports video games provide children to experience success and to develop and master sports-related skills.

The games created to improve confidence is focused on thought patterns. They try to create a setting where the player can focus on positive thoughts such as smiley faces. This way, the players can realize the people who appreciate or support them in real life and try to not be worried about negative opinions. If you are one of these people struggling with a low self-esteem, you check out EyeSpy: The Matrix, Wham!, Grow Your Chi. [8]

 

 

  1. Enhances problem-solving skills and creativity

Playing video games may help every person from any age group to develop problem-solving skills. They are especially effective for children in early ages. As reported in many types of research and also by gamers, puzzle games and role-playing games help people improve this ability by a lot. The reason behind how these games can achieve such a result underlines a very simple factor. Flexibility. Video games create great opportunities to practice flexible thinking and creative problem-solving.

Almost all the video games involve some degree of critical thinking, adaptability and the capacity to learn from one’s mistakes. These skills are all a part of the Flexibility thinking skill. For example, if you keep repeating the same mistakes, you will have a hard time progressing, not only in the game but also in real life. The flexibility helps the player to adapt to new game conditions or come up with different methods to achieve the aim in the game. There are many ways to practice these skills. For example, you can try to beat puzzle games with different approaches you haven’t used before, doing some ‘trial and error’ [9].

 

 

 

  1. Improves concentration and attention

Games can be used as perfect tools to improve your concentration and attention, especially if you love multitasking! Although many people would consider playing video games as a single task, most games actually involve a lot of multitasking properties. Compared to other activities, games can help with concentration and attention better. Because, the multitasking activities involved in the game are linked with each other and are required to progress in these games. This way the player can focus and concentrate on each task but also must select the most important task required at that time.

Gaming can also help a lot to children with dyslexia. The research results show that dyslectic children who have tried games for a certain amount of time scored better on tests of visual attention. Their reading speed has increased without any loss in accuracy. Further, their gains exceeded the amount of spontaneous, developmental improvement that kids make over the course of a year [10].

 

 

  1. Gaming can be great for inspiration

Anything can be an inspiration and so is gaming one of them. We have all heard many times about the tragic events and concerned people discussing the violent tendencies gaming could create for the gamers. It is true that in extreme cases, some games could result in these unwanted scenarios. Yet, proper games with limited play times definitely help more than harm for yourself and others. For example, a study that took real-time functional MRI scans of 57 people assigned to either play the game or watch it being played has found that those who played exhibited increased activity in the brain’s positive motivation circuits, while those who observed exhibited no increase in activity.

Gaming creates inspiration with a real sense of optimism in our abilities and our opportunities to get better and succeed. It also gives us more physical and mental energy to engage with difficult problems increases school or workplace productivity. You should check out Jane McGonigal’s speech, Gaming Can Make a Better World to learn more about this topic and be inspired as I am by it [11].

 

 

  1. Video Games Can Help You Stay Fit

Games are no longer involving children and adults only sitting in front of a screen for endless hours and completing missions. If you think of it, computer games have come a long way since they were first invented. We have many gaming consoles that involve a physical aspect, like the Nintendo Wii. Games such as Just Dance, Guitar Hero, the Wii Fit and many more are creating perfect for staying fit. These kinds of games can help you build your muscles, improve posture, and keep your weight under control. They involve you moving around in the room a lot so be careful to create a wide enough area to play!

Moreover, even for people who don’t enjoy this kind of games, sports games could make them get interested in sports outside of the home and practice their skills in real life as well. Interestingly, unlike it is depicted in media, if you are focused on your game enough, your mind will be completely off the thought of snacks! But, of course, do not forget to eat and drink healthy after you are done with your gaming session. Furthermore, make sure your posture is proper while gaming, do not forget to take breaks and stretch from time to time!

 

Conclusion

Gaming can be a lot of fun, and there are a lot of positive things which it brings to your life. It can tell great stories, bring people together, and really improve a day. Gaming can be very beneficial for your health, relationships and surprisingly even for your wealth. Make sure you are doing your gaming in the proper way. Perhaps you will see that it is not limited to the 11 reasons identified above! Still, it is important to check out and optimize your gaming habits accordingly, as otherwise many negative effects of gaming can surface. Remember to eat healthy, spend time with your friends, engage in physical activities while gaming and have fun.

 

Do not forget, winning at life is winning the most important game of all!

 

 

Written by: Ece Karel

 

References

[1] Fraser, J., Gupta, R., & Rank, S. (2013). Youth identity, science learning, and gaming experiences, front-end research for the NSF funded leveling up a research project. (NewKnowledge Publication #NSF1.5152.03). New York: New Knowledge Organization Ltd

[2] Li, L., Chen, R., Chen, J. (2016). Playing Action Video Games Improves Visuomotor Control. Psychological Science, vol. 27, 8: pp. 1092-1108.

[3] Wolinsky, F., Weg, M., Howren, B., Jones, M., Dotson, M. (2013). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive Training Using a Visual Speed of Processing Intervention in Middle-Aged and Older Adults. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0061624.

[4] Bailey, G., (2018). Playing video games is a key strategy for coping with stress, study finds. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/video-games-stress-playing-strategy-key-gamers-study-a8202541.html.

[5] Scott, E. (2018). How Video Games Relieve Stress. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-video-games-relieve-stress-4110349.

[6] Morewedge, C., Yoon, H., Scopelliti, I., Symborski, C, Korris, J, Kassam, K., (2015). Debiasing Decisions: Improved Decision Making With a Single Training Intervention. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Vol 2, Issue 1, pp. 129 – 140. https://doi.org/10.1177/2372732215600886.

[7] Badatala, A., Leddo, J., Islam, A., Patel, K., Surapaneni, P. (2017). The effects of playing cooperative and competitive video games on teamwork and team performance. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research, Volume 2; Issue 12; December 2016; Page No. 24-28.

[8] McGill University (2004). http://selfesteemgames.mcgill.ca/research/index.htm

[9] Agents of Geek (2017). How Video Games Can Help to Improve Problem Solving and Creativity. https://www.agentsofgeek.com/2017/07/how-video-games-can-help-to-improve-problem-solving-and-creativity/.

[10] Cardoso-Leite, P., Kludt, R., Vignola, G., Ma, W. J., Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2016). Technology consumption and cognitive control: Contrasting action video game experience with media multitasking. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 78(1), 218-241. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/10.3758/s13414-015-0988-0.

[11] McGonigal, J. (2010). Gaming can make a better world. https://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.

 

 

 

how to live a happier life

How to stop complaining and live a happier life: Here are 3 ways to do it.

Wouldn’t it be nice to figure out how to stop complaining?

In this blog post, you’ll learn how to strengthen your relationships and live a happier life by becoming complaint free.

 

“Less pain, better health, satisfying relationships, a better job, being more serene and joyous … sound good? It’s not only possible, it’s probable. Consciously striving to reformat your mental hard drive is not easy, but you can start now and in a short period of time—time that will pass anyway—you can have the life you’ve always dreamed of having.” ~ Will Bowen from A Complaint Free World.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if we learned how to stop complaining?


Internationally renowned Author and speaker Will Bowen is a fantastic example of someone who teaches us how to live the life that you’ve always dreamed about, through personal transformation and living life complaint-free, to lead to happiness and prosperity.

Yes, a complaint free life!

So where do we start? Let’s start with ourselves…

We all want to prosper in all areas of life. But what we often neglect or forget about is our actions and our words, which ultimately determine prosperity and personal transformation, that includes living life complaint-free.

Your thoughts create your life. Your words indicate what you’re thinking
– Will Bowen

 

how to stop complaining

 

So what does it take to really prosper in life and how to stop complaining?

Well, there really is no magic pill or injection we can take to solve the everyday challenges that we undergo to bring us closer to prosperity and transformation. These are interpersonal aspects of life that start with YOU, the individual, which also influence those around you.

It’s mind over matter, connection, and communication that is predominantly the driving force to prosperity to experience better health, happier relationships, greater career success, and a significant increase in happiness. If you’d like to go a little deeper into these topics, check out the 10-day challenge from WhyNot3, where you will discover more about work-like balance, focusing on your health, wealth, and relationships.

People often say that they want more in their life and yet they ironically complain about what they already have. Wayne Dyer, a renowned philosopher and motivational once said,  “if your not happy with what you’ve got, why in the world would you want more?”. How to stop complaining? One of the things we have to do is start to appreciate what we have because as we know what we appreciate expands our lives.


Back in 2006, Will Bowen started a non-profit movement called ‘A Complaint Free World’ movement where it began with the idea of handing out bracelets to remind us of how often we complain on a daily basis and to express more positivity in our words and actions. The main idea is to teach us how to stop complaining but to really to remind us of what we should be grateful for and be learning to develop healthy communication skills. It’s amazing how often we may complain without realizing it. Using these bracelets is a simple way to change the way we think.

 

What is complaining exactly?

 

It comes in many forms. Expressing grief, pain, or discontent are each forms of complaining. However, what we either don’t realize or forget about, is that complaining is damaging to your health, destructive to your relationships, and limits your career success.

 

Think of your body as a temple, our minds and our bodies are connected and it’s crucial that we take care of both to lead to positive transformation and prosperous lives.

 

Perhaps unintentionally, we as people act as if we are the center of the universe, complaining about all of our problems and that the world around us owes us something or needs to sympathise with you. We then ask ourselves, then what are the best way on how to stop complaining?

 

What if focusing on the problem all the time, we focused on how things would be when the problem is solved and finding the solution?

 

helping others

What would it be like it in a conversation or in a meeting, we looked at how things would be if we were to constructively find a solution to the problem rather than dwelling on it. Complaining simply keeps you focused on the problem, not the solution. It holds us back.

 

In Will Bowen’s book and speeches about his 21-day complaint free challenge on how to stop complaining, he explains that we typically complain for 1 of 5 reasons, using the word ‘gripe’ as the acronym. The intention of this is that when confronted with someone complaining, it is to help them meet their needs so they can discontinue complaining, and finding positive ways around the negative thoughts or simply to avoid complaining at all.

 

How to stop complaining? Here are the five typical reasons for complaining and how to recognize it, using the acronym ‘GRIPE’:

 

  1. Get attention – everybody wants to be noticed and complaining is one way to do it.

    It’s only natural that we want to be paid attention to, but what if we could avoid getting or giving attention with the form of complaining and turn it into a positive approach with charismatic warmth, attention, and eye contact for example. A solution could be by asking the person who’s complaining the question, “so what’s going well with ____ ?. This is turn would leave the person to respond with something positive rather than a negative complaint.
  2. Remove responsibility – complaining to remove themselves from responsibility. Complaining in this way is like an excuse as to why they can’t or rather not do something.Let’s say that person comes up with an excuse to exempt themselves out of the task, a question to this person be: “if it we possible, how would you do it?”. This is a tactical way of approaching it because it’s not disagreeing with the person but rather asking a question hypothetically so it discontinues that person from removing him or herself from responsibility.
  • Inspire envy (or brag) – when you complain about someone or something, in this way is like saying “I don’t have that particular character flaw”. Gossip is also a part of this. So, how would you go around this? Compliment the opposite. Complimenting the opposite is in a way implying to the person what they are looking for but in a positive manner.
  • Power – people complain for power and this can often be found in workplaces or in families for example. This type of complaining is when using a case against another person to get your way or form an “alliance” to side with you in order to get power. You may not realize it, but if there’s someone complaining to get power, it’s best to refuse to get involved. If there are 2 other people having a disagreement and want to pull you in, it’s best to say “sounds like you two have a lot to talk about”.
  • Excuse poor performance – “this is why I shouldn’t try”, formed by rational lies as to why they didn’t succeed. To solve this, asking the question “how do you plan to improve next time”? This puts their focus on doing better next time and sets them up to be accountable for the next time too.Complaining usually will fall under one of these categories and is like a competitive sport and can be highly contagious.

 

Recognize it and get rid of it as soon as possible!

But, the most important person to stop complaining is YOU. Through positive and personal transformation, Will Bowen expresses that it is very possible to have a complaint free world.

I believe that, if you want to succeed in life, your words and actions are paramount in your journey to prosperity and that is one of the key ways on how to stop complaining.

 

Healthy living starts with healthy communication.

 

Eliminate the excuses, stop removing yourself from responsibility, avoid gossip, coming up with excuses for poor performance, and stop complaining! If we tried to take more notice of the way complain or the amount that we complain, we could have better relationships, be more grateful, have better career success, and live happier lives.

Complaining doesn’t do us any good, not for our own wellbeing and not for others around us. It just holds us and others back and prevents us from going forward.

communication

In a nutshell, here are the 3 ways on how to stop complaining:

 

Change Your Perspective

 

Be thankful and practice gratitude. We sometimes forget about all the things we have in life to be thankful for in which we take for granted. Each day, reflect on a few things that you are happy for in your life. You’ll start to realize that you have much more than you may realize.

Take work, for example, not everyone is able to work or unable to find work that meets their financial needs. We can also appreciate diversity rather than focusing on differences, having an open mind and stop judging and be tolerant of others values and way of living can lead to happier living. If you want to learn how to stop complaining, changing your perspective is a great way to start.

 

Change the way you React

 

Communication is key. Go directly to the problem and try to solve it, don’t go around telling people about the complaint and not address the issue directly. Don’t gossip and complain by spreading it around like some contagious flu. Find ways to assert yourself instead of complaining and instead of pointing out the negatives, find the positives in the situation. Be mindful of your thoughts.

 

Another part of complaining by your reactions is going around the problem or avoiding it completely. Own up to your own mistakes and accept responsibility for your part in the way things are.

Unhappy with your current situation?
You are the only person with the power to change the way you live.


Patience is also another key factor. And unlike complaining giving constructive feedback rather than criticism offers a solution to help solve the problem. Let’s give this example, the next time you are following up on a work-partner where you notice an issue try approaching that person this with, “Hi [name], your project/task could use some improvements. Is there any training or more clear instruction to get you up to speed on the task? OR, what can we do to ensure that the project gets done correctly the first time?

 

Instead of complaining and reacting in a criticizing way, this not only goes directly to the problem, but it solves it in a tactful manner. Understanding how to stop complaining is best by looking at the way you reach.

 

The next time you confront a dramatic situation or where there is complaining, stop it immediately by turning the situation into a positive. Be aware of what triggers you and prepare yourself with positive affirmations or find a way to not react in a way that makes the situation worse or carry on.

 

Create a healthier Mindset

 

Be present in the moment. Think before you speak. Creating a healthier mindset is one way on how to stop complaining because it helps you become more aware of the moment, your actions and your works, along with others.

 

Exercise is always healthy for the mind, physically and mentally. Nowadays, we find ourselves sitting at a desk, staring at computer screens all day long and it takes a toll on us. Exercising is a great way to relieve stress so that we don’t relieve our stress and frustration that we would complain about. The physical exercise helps to create that balance between mind and body. Being in poor physical condition and in poor health is another reason to complain.

 

Be aware of what triggers you and which aspects or thing in your life bring out complaints. Then, find ways to relax and approach the issue differently than reacting.

 

How to stop complaining: practice mental-wellbeing.

 

Exercising, going for a long walk in the nature, deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and good rest are all important ways to practice this wellbeing to avoid complaining.

Every day is a new day to do better than before. Be open to new things, even if you’re unsure if it will work out. Don’t live in fear. All of this is relevant to communication, mindfulness, prosperity, living a happier life, and finding ways on how to stop complaining.

Life, as we know, is not perfect. This isn’t bad news. In fact, when we begin to understand this, we adapt to new ways of thinking and we see our lives change for the better. Yet, we complain about all sorts of things like weather, socks on the floor left from your spouse, the traffic that kept you late arriving to work, misplaced belongings, and the list can go on. Complaining is never a positive reaction to our situations.

Yet, we are all victims of it. But it’s time that this changes because it does not lead to happiness and healthy living.

Let me once again tell you that, it is possible to understand how to stop complaining, the first thing we have to do is to be aware, realize it and catch it in the act, before it even leaves your mind, in fact, you’ll become so good at filtering it out before it even enters your mind.

If you consider optimising your health and relationships important to you, I would highly recommend trying out the 10-day challenge course from Whynot3. The 10-day challenge covers many aspects of personal transformation, from health, wealth, and relationships, so that it can help you live life to be the best you can be. Check it out by going to the link below the video.

 

“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.” —Tom Wilson

 

 

“Your thoughts create your life. Your words indicate what you’re thinking”. – Will Bowen

 

Make sure to subscribe to the Whynot3’s FREE 10-day Work-Life Balance Challenge. There you will go deeper into topics of optimizing your health, wealth and relationships.


http://whynot3.com/10daychallenge/

22 Fun (And Realistic) Things To Do With Friends

Do you want to make friends and strengthen relationships? In this blog post, you’ll learn how to build relationships and spend quality time with your friends.

Simply pick one or more of the activities, invite your friends and acquaintances and watch your friendships grow. Then rinse and repeat with another activity!

Remember that building friendships takes time and effort. While some friendships effortlessly flow, you may find yourself wanting to take initiative and plan something fun to do. If you’d like to invite someone to hang out but aren’t sure where to start, then the list below can help!

 

 

  1. Grab a tea or coffee.

Yeah, it might seem cliché but it works. It’s so easy to spend quality time with your friends by going to a café. Conversation flows freely as you talk about what drinks you should get, your beverage preferences, and friendly judgments as you realize your friend ordered a pumpkin spice latte with extra whip. This is a great activity to do with a new friend to strengthen your relationship because if the conversation comes to a lull, there’s no pressure to linger after your drinks are done and there’s always interesting people to watch! If the conversation is great, you can order a refill and chat some more.

If you’re a coffee or tea connoisseur, then you could invite your friends over to your home for coffee or tea.

P.S. Maybe you’re really good at procrastinating when it comes to planning something with friends? You’ll find this blog post extremely helpful if you’re a master procrastinator like I once was. Hopefully, it will help you just pick up the phone and make plans!

 

  1. Find a new restaurant.

If both of you are worried about what to do, and neither wants to make a decision, then make a decision to find a new place together! A great way is to figure out what kind of food you feel like having, then Google places in your area that serve that kind of food. People often pick restaurants for first dates because it’s so easy to find things to talk about over dinner. The décor, the food, ethical views on meat production…anything is possible. Going out for breakfast, dinner, or lunch is wonderful because the conversation flows naturally. Plus, you can invite many friends if you’re looking to do something with a group of friends.

 

  1. Find a walking trail.

I’m fairly certain that no matter where you live that you can find somewhere to walk. If you live in area with lots of greenery, try to take advantage of that and find a hiking trail. Going for a walk with your friends gives you the freedom to talk while exercising. Many people are hesitant to spend one on one time with new friends or old friends that they need to reconnect with, but I can assure you that if both of you are in good health that you’ll end up enjoying the light exercise and conversation. You can invite more than 1 friend for a walk, but just be aware of the fact that sometimes sidewalks and paths only accommodate for 2 people. That awkward third person walking behind their friends on a sidewalk often gets left out of the conversation.

friendship-1081843

 

  1. Try a new fitness class.

Unless your friend loves some friendly competition, you might not want to invite them to play squash with you if they suck at squash and you’re a champion squash player. Try something you can both find equally challenging and bond together over your inability to touch your toes or keep up with the Zumba instructor. Feel free to invite your friends to fitness classes you’re a regular in though! Especially if you get referral deals. Just make sure not to make them feel inadequate or incompetent if it’s their first time.

 

  1. Have a potluck.

If you’d like to connect with a lot of friends or acquaintances, it can get pricey to host them all. Try asking everyone to bring some food. You’ll get to try tasting new dishes and take some of the pressure off of hosting. For a potluck, the more the merrier, so invite lots of people! This is a great way to connect with people you aren’t super close to yet but would like to be.

 

  1. Find a local festival.

There are always cool festivals going on in my city. I’m not talking Coachella or a rave festival (unless you’re into that sort of thing). Generally, a festival is an awesome way to have a lot of fun in a low commitment atmosphere. If you or your friend(s) feel you’re running out of things to talk about or get bored, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave and go home if you’re at a festival.

Try keeping an eye out for food festivals. I find these always spark great conversations and are extremely memorable. You’ll probably find food at a food festival that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else!

 

  1. Go to the park.

Okay, maybe I’m a bit biased because I’m a die-hard nature lover, but going to the park with friends is seriously underrated. It seems like a typical romantic date, but I promise you it can be a platonic date as well. You might be surprised to see lots of friends at the park. Some are having a picnic (potluck in the park, anyone?), playing ultimate frisbee, or simply walking around. I would highly recommend going to the park if you and your friend have something to talk about, but you don’t want to sit inside and discuss it. Most of us sit inside anyway (here’s a great article from Lifehacker on why sitting all day is dangerous). So use this tip to get you and your friends motivated to move around!

 

  1. Take some personality tests.

It might be a little weird to ask the person you just to take a personality test, so use this activity for people that you already have established a friendship with. I love taking personality tests with my friends when we’re just chilling at home and trying to kill time. Buzzfeed has random and silly tests/quizzes, but if you’re looking for something more serious you can try the MBTI personality tests. You can learn about the MBTI and take the test here.

Have fun learning more about each other and throwing around some harmless banter about how your personality type is better than theirs. Just be sure not to take the tests too seriously. While some tests are more accurate than others, they are never a substitute for a licensed psychologist’s evaluation.

 

  1. Just sit and chat.

How many of you can say you regularly just sit and talk with your friends with no distractions? I hope all of you can say yes! However, the reality is we get uncomfortable with nothing else to distract us from the thought of awkward silences. Granted, escape plans and distractions are needed sometimes. However, try to just sit and talk with your friends. I think you’ll find yourself closer afterwards and be pleasantly surprised that any awkward silences weren’t so awful after all.

Speaking of which, do you know how beneficial it can be to tune out and just relax in the silence? If you’re stressed out, you should try our Silent Day. Try it with your friends too and hold each other accountable!

 

  1. Make dinner together.

Unless you’re super comfortable in a friendship, making a dinner for two can get a little too intimate for most people in a normal friendship. So invite a few people to make the mood casual and fun.

Here’s what I do with my friends:

Decide on a dish that’s easy to make (e.g. chili). Then ask everyone to bring a lot of one or two ingredients (e.g. Kelly, you bring 10 cans of beans). Get together and make massive amounts of one dish and you’ll all have extra servings to take home and freeze or eat up for a week or so.

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  1. Run errands together.

I used to think this was really lame until I did it. So don’t knock it until you try it. If you have a friend that you really enjoy just chilling out with, why not invite them out with you to run some errands if they live nearby?

I often find that my friend needs to run errands as well and genuinely enjoys having company while doing so. The conversation during these errand runs tends to flow naturally as you’ll be busy most of the time.

This works well if a friend asks to hang out but you don’t necessarily have extra time to hang out. Simply say something along the lines of: “Hey, I’m really busy today but why don’t you come with me to the mall? I have to pick up a new shirt for an event this weekend (insert your preferred emojis)”

 

  1. Watch a movie (or movies).

 

Most people are down for a movie and will happily oblige if you take the initiative to plan everything. Invite a few friends out to the theatre or host them in your home, it’s really up to you!

If you decide to host the movie party, don’t forget to prepare some simple snacks or ask your friends to bring their own.

 

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  1. Game night!

Game nights don’t stop when you graduate high school. Adults love games too. Try witty games like Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples. Maybe go with a card game tournament (Dutch Blitz, Poker, Go Fish, etc.) Make sure to have music and snacks going! You can also ask people to bring snacks as well.

Many people will enjoy some alcohol as they play games, either to take their competitive edge off or to increase it! But feel free to keep it non-alcoholic if it makes you more comfortable.

Tip for hosting friends: Remember that as the host, you can control how much alcohol people drink. Unless you state it’s a BYOB party, people generally will not bring their own alcohol. If you don’t want anyone getting plastered at your house, then simply buy a couple bottles of wine or 1 or 2 cases of beer for 3-5 people. When that runs out, then it’s out!

 

  1. Have a yard sale together!

Pool your unwanted items and host a yard/garage sale. While gathering up your old junk may not be fun, you’ll probably have fun on the day of the sale as you get some cash for your stuff!

You can either keep the money or donate it to your local food bank (or charity of your choice).

Never done a yard sale? Find out some tips and tricks on how to host a great yard sale in this article by Moneycrashers.

 

  1. Find a charity you love and volunteer.

This doesn’t have to be a charity, it could just be your local soup kitchen or poverty initiative. For example, I met a lot of friends through simple volunteer nights hosted by local schools or religious organizations. Volunteers are always needed! You and your friends will make lots of memories, a positive impact, and hopefully strengthen your friendships!

 

  1. Go thrift shopping.

I find thrift shopping always sparks a lot of great conversation as you and your friends can chat about the random things you find the store. You also don’t have to spend too much money for this one. You can set a budget of $10, $20, $30, or more and see who can find the best bargains. I don’t know about you, but the things I find thrift shopping always hold a special place in my heart and I definitely remember the shopping trips with my friends.

 

  1. Go to a concert.  

The only prerequisite to this is to invite friends with similar music tastes. Don’t invite your friend who hates rap to a rap concert. Even if they’re nice enough to say yes, they probably won’t enjoy it.

Concert tickets can get pricey, so if you’re strapped for cash, then try to find some free outdoor concerts (weather permitting) in your area.

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  1. Go belt out some Karaoke.

The memories made at karaoke night are timeless. Check out your local bars or pubs for any days they have an open mic or karaoke.

If you and your friends are open minded and fun-loving, you’ll have a fun time at karaoke night. Even if you don’t participate, there’s something satisfying about watching random strangers get up on stage and sing their heart out.

 

  1. Go to a winery and taste some wine.

Only do this if you and your friends are of legal age and enjoy wine! There will be beautiful scenery, plenty of photo ops to prove your friendship to the social media world, and lots of wine to discuss. Enough said!

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  1. Go to an arcade.

Much like game night, this is one that doesn’t really get old. I find that even the most apprehensive of friends end up having an amazing time by the end of the night. Channel your inner childhood with the help of your friends and go play some old-school games.

Chances are they will thank you for organizing such a fun time and want to do it again!

 

  1. YouTube marathon.

YouTube is huge. So I suggest starting with an agreed upon category and then searching and watching to your heart’s content.

Some suggested categories are:

  • Funny Videos/Fails (Animals, Kids, Etc.)
  • The Classics (think “Charlie Bit My Finger” or “David After Dentist”)
  • Music Videos (Auditions, Covers, Official Videos)
  • Self-Improvement Videos (Why Not 3 videos, TED Talks)
  • Whatever else you can think of!

 

  1. Go geocaching.

Honestly, I thought geocaching was really dumb (sorry, geocaching lovers) until I tried it. If you don’t know what geocaching is, it’s basically walking/hiking to a predetermined coordinate via a GPS and finding a little treasure box that’s there. In other words, it’s a real life treasure hunt for grown-ups. You are free to take something from the treasure box provided you put something of your own in its place for the next person!

It was surprisingly fun and slightly addictive. It’s safer to go with a group of people, so invite your friends! It’s really easy to learn more about geocaching, if you’re interested!

 

As you were reading these tips, did you find yourself thinking that some of these tips sounded too time-consuming? Were you maybe thinking, “Who has time for this stuff?”

If you struggle with time-management or being stressed out because you procrastinated too much, then Why Not 3 can help you. We believe a work-life balance that allows you to spend ample time with loved ones is absolutely necessary, and we want to help you get it. Why Not 3 gives you practical advice to help you get your life balanced for free. Simply sign up for some super cool emails where Lova Kremer (founder of Why Not 3) shares the tools that helped him grow and balance his own life to become happier, healthier, and wealthier.

 

Share this blog with your friends using the buttons blow to get some mutual planning going on! Or simply share it anyway if you liked the post! Happy friendship building!

Let us know in the comments below if you tried out any of these tips. We’d love to hear from you!