We all need a little free time daily, but the problem is that sometimes we have so many things to do that we end up sacrificing this, thinking that this way, we will be more productive and efficient in our jobs.
Free time is necessary because it becomes that moment of the day in which we can de-stress, rest a bit, and replenish the energy that we lost by investing it in other activities, and this is why you will never listen to an expert who recommends that you eliminate this time from your routine.
Of course, there is no exaggeration; it is necessary to have a balance between work time and rest time so that you can take advantage of everything in a better way, but Max Alberhasky, a psychologist at Psychology Today, says that there is a minimum amount of free time that you must have each day so that you can have a higher level of happiness and satisfaction with your life.
Do you not believe it? In Japan, there is even a term called karoshi, which refers to cases where people can die due to overwork and insufficient rest.
Free Time and How much you Need to be Happy?
According to The Atlantic, a UCLA study found that excessive free time is not the key to happiness, but it is very important to have enough hours a day dedicated to activities that you enjoy and that are not related to work. work (even if you love your job and enjoy it, you need free time).
The study says that the magic number is between 2 and 5 hours of free time every day. According to Alberhasky, less of this can lead to the development of too much stress, which can affect health and memory and increase the risk of cognitive decline and heart disease.
But, going over 5 hours is not a good idea either, since the study says that when you have an excess of free time, you can come to feel that you are not productive or useful, and you lose that feeling of well-being that appears when you are working and achieving goals. Also, another problem is that when you spend too much time resting, then it doesn’t feel like a rest or reward anymore, so it’s less enjoyable.
But it’s not just about having free time; another important element is how you decide to spend that moment of the day and who you do it with.
A Harvard study, where entire decades were devoted to analyzing happiness, found that the most important thing and what really helps us to be happy are friends, and this study also points to this. They add that free time is better when you share it with others, as this has positive effects on mental health and mood.
This time can help to work on those relationships that we all need in life. Still, the study says that we must not forget that the quality of free time also comes into play. It was found that a more productive approach must be given, carrying out activities like sports, volunteering, and other ways that allow us to socialize better and create connections.
It is not bad that you have days in which there is no time to relax for several hours, but it is essential that we try to find that middle ground between productivity and work, and rest and space to dedicate ourselves to what we like the most; this leads to true satisfaction and increases happiness.