If thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one guilty pleasure that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll reluctantly admit to, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s watching cartoons when no-oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s watching me. That, and playing video or computer games.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not that I do this every day or that I am hooked to the stuff, but each time I am overly stressed and want to slow down a little bit or get something off my mind, I get comfortable on the couch, tune into cartoon network (or any one of the other kidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s channels) and lose myself in the world of animation.
After a couple episodes of Scooby Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Simpsons, DexterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Tom & Jerry and Samurai Jack, I inevitably feel better, lighter, as though all the worries in the world combined are not enough to lose sleep over.
There is something about losing myself in the simple plots and watching the very same episodes I enjoyed with my brothers and friends when we were growing up that acts as a sort of pick-me up or happy drug for me.
It could be the fact that indulging in a few light moments transports me right back to my childhood, to the simplicity and peace of mind associated with that period, to the sunshine, laughter, playgrounds, play dates, mischief and birthday parties, that gives me such a high.
For a long time, I was very ashamed to admit this tuning into my inner child to anybody and only let a few people in on my secret. Now though, after reading this weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s soul article, I realise that occasionally reliving oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s childhood is essential in reducing stress.
You see, when we are children, we look forward to Ã¢â‚¬Ëœgrowing upÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and being in charge. We dream up a lot of scenarios and look up to adults as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœliving the good lifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, ones with no curfews and in which they can buy whatever they fancy without pleading for someone to do it for them. Our days are filled with childhood wonder and lots of activity.
When we grow up though, we realise itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a totally different story. We get so caught up in ensuring that our homes are running well, that our spouses are behaving themselves (if we are married), that our relationships are headed towards the right direction, that there is a gradual upward mobility in our career ladder and that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re brushing off all the office politics and negativity that sometimes gets a little too much to deal with.
Psychologists have pointed out that one of the simplest ways of coping with this stress is tuning into your inner child and doing those things you once enjoyed.
So, for a light-hearted start to the week, why not take some time out and indulge in a board game like snakes and ladders, an outdoor activity, a couple of cartoons,Ã‚Â a childish painting orÃ‚Â a good old daydream?