Spend your free time wisely

In today’s fast paced, high stress world people are working longer hours than ever, and often collapse at day’s end in front of the television to relax enough to begin again in the morning.  However, television watching, for most people, does not really lower stress. Studies show that TV viewing in excess of an hour or so actually creates stress and, especially in women, may lead to depression.  Most individuals are unaware that incorporating some exercise into their end of will make them more energetic since it increases energy and stamina levels.

At first it may be hard, but in the long run using your free time wisely will have health and emotional benefits.  Begin by defining what elements constitute using your free time to your best advantage.

Wise use of leisure time does not mean getting an advanced degree, although the mental stimulation gained through education is unbeatable in keeping your mind active.  Learning new things nearly always adds a spark to your daily life, especially if it is a favorite topic, such as sport, fashion, or art.  Also, browse your bookstore or library to find books on your interests.  Try to replace a half hour TV watching with reading.  .

It is very well advised to use free time to reduce stress, which takes a toll on health, physically and mentally. Stress is the body’s adrenal gland hormonal “fight or flight” reaction stuck in high gear. With continued stress, both adrenalin and cortisol hormone levels remain high, contributing to the development of heart disease, hypertension and depression.  Many ways of combating stress revolve around distracting one’s mind from the everyday worries and returning it to the things in life that are enriching.  The foremost of these is other people.

It is estimated that in the United States currently, many individuals have as few as 2 good friends.  Long work hours and car commutes act to isolate people.  This isolation is deadly.  Find ways to congregate with people at the end of the day and on weekends.  Often this can be best done by combining activities, such by joining a walking group to get both exercise and companionship.  Taking a class will stimulate your mind and allow you to meet others with similar interests.  Hobbies are great for reducing stress and provide another opportunity for social interaction.   Meditation and biofeedback are excellent ways to reduce stress and have actually demonstrated an ability to lower blood levels of bad hormones.

Using our free time to aid our overall health and well being may include these elements and Many more, such as going to concerts and spending time with family.  For many people, spirituality, whether in the form of organized religion or enjoying nature, is necessary to retain a sense of balance in life.  All of these activities are good uses of leisure time, as is taking in the occasional film or watching a few TV programs.  But overall, the key is to spend less free time being passive.  The best ways to use free time allow us to are to be mentally and physically active, spend some time out doors, and interact with other people on a regular basis.

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