A professor says spending your time in this way can improve happiness overall

A professor says spending your time in this way can improve happiness overall

via the Ladders by John Anderer

The proverb “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is most often associated these days withStephen King’s The Shining. But it had been coined long before the phrase became conjoined with Jack Torrance’s descent into madness — in the 17th century. Regardless of the time period, the message stays the same: constant work is never a good idea. We all need some leisure time on a regular basis.

Now, a fascinating new joint study from Rutgers UniversityThe Ohio State University, and Harvard University is providing a new, scientific take on this idea. Their research strongly indicates that believing or feeling like leisure activities or time spent relaxing is a “waste” results in more stress and depression, greater anxiety, and less happiness overall. 

Why you should embrace leisure

“While work can impart meaning and a sense of purpose in life, leisure, such as time with family and friends, hobbies, and exercise, is what makes our lives happy and healthy,” says lead study author Gabriela Tonietto, an assistant professor of marketing at Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick. “But not everyone sees value in time spent on leisure. Many hold a general belief that these activities are an unproductive use of time – at the cost of their own happiness. We find that believing leisure is wasteful causes time spent on leisure to be less enjoyable.”

One doesn’t have to browse the web and social media for long to find countless examples of articles, posts, and influencers telling everyone that “if you aren’t working hard and grinding, you’re losing in the game of life.” It’s certainly a good idea to have goals and work toward achieving them, but productivity needs to be offset by some rest and relaxation.

“There is plenty of research which suggests that leisure has mental health benefits and that it can make us more productive and less stressed,” adds study co-author Selin Malkoc, associate professor of marketing at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. “But we find that if people start to believe that leisure is wasteful, they may end up being more depressed and more stressed.”

It’s an incredibly relatable scenario. You’ve just finished up a long day’s work and finally, have some time to yourself. There’s no shortage of books, shows, and hobbies you would like to catch up on, but you can’t help but think about other problems and responsibilities in your life that need solving. Even the study’s own authors say it’s something they deal with quite often.

“Of the members of the research team, we all either are someone who has this issue or are close to someone who does,” Prof. Tonietto comments…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE