The Importance Of Leisure Time For Your Mental Health

blankYou’ve heard about the importance of good mental health. You know that you want to take care of it, so you don’t develop anxiety or depression. Furthermore, you understand that It affects every part of your life – how you think, feel, and act. What would you think if you learned that leisure time is also an essential factor here?

Leisure is something that we have less and less of in the world today. We’re constantly busy doing things for work or taking care of our families. These things tend to eat up our time.

Maybe you’re one of the many people who value their mental health but don’t have much leisure time. You may wonder why it’s so crucial to your well-being. Take a few minutes to learn more about their connection.

Evidence That People Need Leisure Time

Before delving any further into the benefits of leisure time on anxiety and depression, it’s a good idea to understand that this mental health discovery is indeed backed by research. A total of four studies were undertaken to understand the impact of leisure time on people who find it to be wasteful.

The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology published the research’s discoveries. It clearly stated that participants who feel leisure time is wasteful or unproductive are much less likely to enjoy it. They’re also more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, this mindset is backed by our cultural fixation on work and productivity.

The Benefits of Leisure Time

Devoting time to our enjoyment benefits our well-being by allowing us to unwind and connect with those around us. Psychologist Marie-Helene Pelletier, Ph.D., MBA, points out that you may develop health risks when you don’t prioritize leisure time. You may also see a negative impact on your resilience both at work and in your personal life.

Pelletier says that we need to remember these things regardless of how we view leisure time. Even if we believe it’s wasteful and unenjoyable, it’s still vital that we incorporate it into our lives. It’s more of a lifestyle choice (e.g., exercise, healthy eating) than anything else.

Benefits Those Who are Terminally Motivated Frequently Overlook

If you’re someone who’s hyper-focused on progress and productivity or who finds it difficult to relax, it’s essential to reframe leisure. Doing so is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. This understanding could make it easier to incorporate.

According to Pelletier, mental health is a type of supply and demand relationship. This relationship is something terminally motivated people must take time to understand. They must think of leisure time as an end in itself.  Doing so will help you ward off things like anxiety and depression.

Ultimately, the reason why you incorporate leisure time into your lifestyle will depend on your perspective. Regardless, the most important thing here is that you take the time to invest in your mental health to avoid developing anxiety or depression.

How to Tips for Those Who are Terminally Motivated

Initially, it may feel challenging to find time to invest in your mental health. This challenge may be especially relevant to those who are already suffering from anxiety or depression.

Plan Out the Activity

Start by thinking about what you enjoy doing. Make a note of when you feel relaxed, or you find yourself having a great time. You may even have some activities that you’d like to try. It doesn’t matter how tiny it may seem to you, even if it’s something you could accomplish in 5 minutes.

You’ll want to create some time to enjoy this activity, even if it’s just for a few minutes a few times each week. Try adding it to your “to-do” list. The act of crossing it off will in and of itself feel like a small achievement.

Taking Time to Improve Your Mental Health

Now you have a better understanding of the importance of building leisure time into your schedule. Doing so will help you ward off feelings of anxiety and depression.

Sometimes leisure time isn’t enough. When you find that this is true for you, it’s time to seek some professional help from us at TMS Advantage in Clearwater & St Petersburg, FL. Over the years, we’ve been able to help many people overcome these feelings and regain their mental health. So, contact us today.

We look forward to helping you too.

Picture Credit: Crello

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