Nov 24 , 2021
Does Having Free Time Make You Happy?
Leisure Time and Perception
According to research conducted at Ohio State University, how one views their leisure time can affect levels of perceived happiness, stress, anxiety, and depression. In a series of studies, the people who saw their leisure time negatively tended to have more self-reports of increased anxiety, stress, and depression. This is because if one does not feel enthused about their leisure time activities, and feeling like it’s a waste of time, the less enjoyment they will have and the more negative emotions they will have. However, there was one caveat. Even if the subject did not particularly enjoy the activity at hand, if the activity helped them feel productive towards a bigger goal, then it didn’t impact the overall levels of happiness, stress, anxiety, and depression.
Although there may be element of “attitude affects how you feel and your emotional health”, this research seems to point towards the idea that how we use our time and feeling like that there is a purpose to most things we do is also equally as important. Don’t just immediately go into autopilot when it comes to leisure or free time.
Also, this research seems to suggest that how we feel about and value our time at least has some impact on our emotional health. So, viewing our leisure time as valuable and rewarding rather than as a waste of time can affect our attitude positively, and by extension, can decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. So even if you aren’t being as productive in your leisure time as in a job, finding enjoyment in leisure time may be good for your mental health.