Help the GGSC raise money to launch Greater Good in Action - Click Here
   
 

How to De-Stress

By Katie Goldsmith | October 5, 2009 | 1 comment

When life gets stressful, many of us tend to dwell on whatever it is that's causing us stress rather than taking a break to enjoy our favorite hobby or a meal with friends, which can seem like a waste of time. However, a new study suggests that making time for leisure activities actually alleviates stress and helps us function better physically and psychologically.

In the study, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, psychologist Sarah Pressman of the University of Kansas and her colleagues asked 1,400 adults how often they engaged in a variety of different leisure activities, including eating with friends, communing with nature, playing sports, and spending quiet time alone. Then these adults were given surveys measuring their physical and psychological health.

The results showed that people who more frequently engaged in enjoyable leisure activities had lower blood pressure, waist circumference, body mass index, and levels of cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.

These people also reported stronger social networks, greater satisfaction with and engagement in their lives, and lower levels of depression. Plus, they tended to sleep better and exercise more consistently.

So next time you get invited out to eat with friends or go for a jog and you think your stressful life simply doesn't allow for it, remember that activities like those are much more important than we give them credit for. They may even help you deal with the stresses that life throws your way: The authors speculate that these "breather" activities may lead to "restoration [that] is typically marked by greater feelings of well-being, calm, and vigor."

Tracker Pixel for Entry
 
 
 
About The Author

Katie Goldsmith is a Greater Good editorial assistant.

  

Like this article?

Here's what you can do:

Donate
 
  
 

When Iam depressed or stress I never consult any doctor or take any pill.I start to tke deep breath or go to jogging or start to cliam hill.I find out this one vey best mwdicine to de-stress or comt out from depressed mood.
——-

Ramesh Raghuvanshi | 9:12 am, September 30, 2009 | Link

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Most...

  
  • How SEL and Mindfulness Can Work Together

    April 7, 2015

    When taught together, social-emotional learning and mindfulness can have even greater impact on both individuals and the world around us.

  • Why You Should Love Thy Coworker

    April 6, 2015

    A new study suggests that fostering compassion among health care workers might improve the quality of patient care.

  • How to Help Teens Find Purpose

    April 16, 2015

    Teens are naturally driven to seek new experiences—and that may be the key to helping them develop a sense of purpose in life.

  

Greater Good Events

How Compassion Creates Resilience, with Kelly McGonigal
International House, UC Berkeley campus
May 20, 2015


How Compassion Creates Resilience, with Kelly McGonigal

A book event for The Upside of Stress


» ALL EVENTS
 
 

Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!

» TAKE A QUIZ
 

Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.

Watch
 

Greater Good Resources

 
 
» MORE STUDIES
 
 
» MORE ORGS
 

Book of the Week

The Path to Purpose By William Damon Looks at how children are hampered in their search for meaning, and how concerned adults can help them find it.

» READ MORE
 
Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.
"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

thnx advertisement