Entertainment is a great thing, isn’t it? We love to do things that keep us stimulated and busy, especially with a group of friends as a way to have fun, connect and unwind. Whether it’s some form of art, a physical activity or a means of self-expression, there are differences in the ways that we receive entertainment. For example, there’s a big difference between sitting in front of a movie and taking in a motion picture that a large directorial team has put together purely to entertain or educate you versus going for a bike ride with friends. Either activity might be considered a type of entertainment, but yet they offer vastly different experiences to you – and to your brain. If you’ve never considered the differences between entertainment and being entertained, now is the time to give it some thought.
Firstly, let’s start with a definition of entertainment, which could be something as simple as giving or receiving some form of amusement or enjoyment. The term “entertaining” can be used actively, in that YOU are the one providing amusement to others, but that’s not quite the type of entertaining we’re referring to here. The term is loose enough to encompass all different kinds of activities, and yet the way that these types of activities impact your life can be very different. Although the term can be used broadly, all different forms of entertainment can offer a difference experience. Finding a variety of entertainment types to add into your schedule will help you to create a more fulfilling life.
Let’s think about entertainment from the perspective of how you receive it. Sitting in front of the movie screen may offer you the same level of entertainment as, say, a “paint and sip” style class with your friends – but one obviously takes more effort than the other. When you sit in a movie theater, the entertainment is presented to you. But, when you’re involved in an activity that requires a participation greater than your general attention, your brain is activated in a different way. Sometimes, we all just need those moments where we want to be entertained with no effort or work on our part, and it’s healthy for our brains to unwind and disconnect. Other times, we’re looking for something a bit more involved, and active entertainment can give us a little creativity that our brains and bodies may be craving.
Doing activities for entertainment requires more engagement than just buying a ticket to something, or choosing an item on a menu. Since an active form of entertainment asks more of you, it can actually be harder to make ourselves do these types of activities, even if we know that they offer us such positive side effects. Working on an activity that stimulates your creativity while also entertaining you can help to improve your self-esteem and, if doing them in a group, can provide bonding and connection that is bound to have you signing up for more!
When it comes to entertainment, you may notice that you get something different out of each type. Have you ever noticed that most events that provide pure entertainment – a movie, concert, show, etc – do not inherently encourage connection with others? Most of the time, during these activities it is too difficult to talk, let alone hold a conversation. While you enjoyed yourself and created memories, the experience is different from one that you had while actively participating. Conversely, a lot of active forms of entertainment include an element of human connection that can help you strengthen your relationships. It can help to deepen your connection with others and maybe even more importantly – yourself.
Creativity is such a powerful force and many studies have shown that creativity is invaluable when it comes to keeping the brain sharp. Working on projects that need to be figured out or learned as they go increases problem solving skills. If the activity that you’re working on requires you to use your hands, it can help with dexterity and fine motor skills. These are items which can easily be taken for granted, and yet are so important for building healthy brain function. In fact, a more active brain – one that is regularly challenged both mentally and with physical activity – has been found to “require” less entertainment such as movies and TV.
If you’ve never put much thought into the differences in kinds of entertainment and ways you’re being entertained, you may not even know where to start. Here are some of our best suggestions for adding more active entertainment into your lifestyle:
- Start swapping a typical date night – dinner and a movie – with something that requires a more active participation. Why not try a wine tasting, cooking class, escape room, dancing class, or other “class” style options that involve your brain, body, and creativity?
- If you like to do activities alone, there are endless options for you to try in order to gain more active entertainment. In addition to class-style options as noted above, which are great options for individuals as well, you may consider picking up an instrument, or pencil or paintbrush. Is there a new skill you’ve been wanting to try but default to easier activities? Now is the time to get more active with your entertainment!
- Trade out a night out for a night in! Invite friends over for game night, or declare Friday nights game night in your house. You could try anything from board and card games to charades and karaoke. Not only will everyone be highly entertained, it is an inexpensive way to entertain a group, no matter the size, while connecting and being creative.
- One of our favorite activities is of course a class at Taylor Made Studio! The “Make Your Own Polish” concept was developed by Taylor Made Polish founder, Vanessa, creating on her own, and ultimately sharing it. The personal connection of creating with others provides entertainment but more importantly social connections. At the studio you can come alone or bring your friends together for a fun interactive class. The added bonus is that you’re creating a healthy, eco-friendly products.
There are certainly all types of entertainment. A balanced variety of types contributes to a healthy social and physical well being. You may have told yourself or others that you’re not creative – but we don’t believe that’s the case! Participating in a guiding class or engaging with a friend who you consider creative are great ways to get yourself started. The internet and sites like Pinterest can also offer ideas. However you choose to find entertainment, growth and connections with others we hope that you are taking time for yourself!