We’ve spent a lot of time this month talking about some of the less desirable elements of sports like their carbon footprint and their increasingly concerning relationship with consumerism. But we’d be entirely remiss if we didn’t also take some time to talk about the wonderful parts of sports. The mission of Postconsumers is to help you find the satisfaction of enough – and that includes helping you realize ways to fulfill yourself that don’t involve stuff. Sports can be a great tool for helping you to buy less, live more in so many different ways. So how can sports teach you to fall in love with your idea of enough? Today we’re looking at the benefits.

Social Time is the Keystone of Satisfaction

Yes, this statement is true even for introverts! We’re on the record at Postconsumers as thinking that the increasing need for “stuff” in society is a direct response to the decrease in meaningful social connections between people.  Even the most solitary sports such as running make you a part of a community of people who find joy and satisfaction in the same sport. It’s not necessarily about winning, it’s about feeling a part of a group of people, which is possible even if team sports aren’t your thing. And if team sports are something that you’re open to, then that’s even better because few things build social connections more than a team atmosphere. Are you a person who’s grown up hating sports and the people who play them? Keep in mind that there are literally thousands of sports. It’s just about finding the right one for you that’s going to come with the right group of people for you. We’re guessing that for no shortage of Postconsumers that’s going to mean something a little offbeat like Frisbee golf or similar sports.

Blissful Space Away from the Screen

The reality is that the more time you spend away from the ubiquitous screens of the world, the better it will be for your effort to find satisfaction outside of the world of “stuff.” That’s because screen time is the basic equivalent of inviting the consumer media machine into your home.  And we’re not just talking about your television screen either. Your computer, smart phone and tablet all count too – not to mention all of the digital screens you’re exposed to when you’re out in the world in general.  Unless you’re playing a professional level sport with a jumbotron in the middle of the field you’ll be blissfully screen free, out of the reach of the primary tool of the consumer media engine. And, of course, you’re not only getting a healthy media diet, you’re getting physically healthy at the same time.

Pro Tip: Want to cut down on media exposure without playing a sport? Check out our tips for reducing screen time in your life.

Healthier You = Happier You

We don’t want to sound preachy, but the truth of the matter is that the healthier you are, the happier you’ll be and the less you’ll look to find joyfulness in the accumulation of “stuff.” Of course, health is a complex physical and mental matrix of diet, exercise, stress reduction, emotional health and so much more. Sports can’t help you with every element of getting healthy, but it can help you with the exercise as well as the stress reduction (unless you simply take your sports too seriously). Yes, it’s true. Virtually every study ever done shows that regular exercise such as that you’ll get playing a sport not only leads to better physical health, it also helps with stress management. Having an active plan for both of those elements is essential to optimal health, which is essential to optimal happiness, which is essential to finding the satisfaction of enough.

There’s Joy in the Experience Itself

Perhaps most importantly however, sports when done correctly can teach you that there’s joy simply in experiencing life and that you don’t always need to be the best or, in the parlance of consumer society, one-upping the Joneses. While it’s always nice to win, it’s the joy of participating, of moving your body, of escaping from the screens and technology of the everyday world that brings you happiness. And the directive to not take things too seriously? Well, that can help you in your everyday life as well.

Sports, when taken to extremes, can be as dangerous as anything when it comes to the environment, consumerism and even mental health. But when kept in perspective they can bring happiness, satisfaction and the kinds of good vibes that Postconsumers love.

Did we miss a theory about how sports can bring you the satisfaction of enough that you want to share with us? If so, just tell us about it on one of the social media channels below.

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