Want to be healthier?Learn To ENJOY more.

A new study has confirmed what many people already knew: the more time spent doing different types of enjoyable activities, the better a person’s health tends to be.

leisureImagesThe study says taking time for leisure activities apart from the demands of work and other responsibilities helps people function better physically and mentally.

“People who are engaged in multiple enjoyable activities are better off physically and psychologically,” said study co-author Karen Matthews, Ph.D. She is a professor of psychiatry, epidemiology and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The study appears online in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine.

To reach the conclusion, 1,400 adults reported how often they participated in a variety of leisure activities, including spending time unwinding, visiting friends or family, going on vacation, going to clubs or religious activities or playing sports.

Adults with higher scores — indicating the most time spent in different leisure activities — had lower blood pressure, waist circumference, body mass index and cortisol measurements, all markers of good health.

“When one is under stress, the usual thing is to cut back on enjoyable activities because you’re feeling uncomfortable and you need more time to deal with the stress. But these data suggest that is the wrong thing to do and that continuing enjoyable activities you do can be helpful,” Matthews said.

People who spent more time doing diverse leisure activities also reported stronger and more diverse social networks, more feelings of satisfaction and engagement in their lives and lower levels of depression. Those who logged the most leisure time also slept better and exercised more consistently, the authors say.

Other studies have examined the link between specific activities, such as exercise, and improved physical and psychological health, but this is the first to show that the accumulation of multiple sources of enjoyable activity benefits health, Matthews said.

The study outcomes add to what we know about the connection between body and mind, said Kathy Richards, Ph.D., a registered nurse and professor of health promotion at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia.

“Although the amount of leisure time each person needs is highly individual, we all need to monitor our own bodies and stress levels and participate in leisure activities to have happy, healthy and productive lives,” Richards said.

Do you have leisure activities in your daily schedule? Have you already learned to be healthy?

Please share your experiences in the comments. Will give us all tips on how we can make our lives more enjoyable and healthy.

Please share this post on the social media site of your choice.


I appreciate your support :)

Everything Happens For The Best….???

As we move on in life, we understand why we are denied certain things – and it may actually be a blessing in disguise!

icecream-cake“So, let’s put it like this: I asked for a small round ice-cream cake with a cherry on top…and I got a 3-tier German chocolate cake with an extra supply of  butter cookies!! 3tiergermanchocolatecake

Now, that’s great.

But the point is… where is my “small round ice-cream cake with a cherry on top?? Is that too much to ask for?”

No, it isn’t too much to ask for. It was never too much. But maybe someone thought they would give you more than you wanted assuming that would make you happier. But they assumed wrong, didn’t they? You wanted just that one small cake, and all the big ones in the world cannot make up for the fact that you didn’t get the one you really wanted.

Things don’t always work out exactly as you want them to. And if the intensity of the desire was strong, then even though you may have got much more than you wanted, the craving for that one thing that escapes you never really goes away.

Such disappointments occur when we allow our desires and dreams to overtake us and start living in anticipation of their fulfillment. A narrow focus makes us oblivious to all else but the goal in mind, very often blinding us to better options or greater pleasures just within our reach. A closed mind doesn’t allow us to enjoy that which we got instead of hankering after what escaped our clutches. And life carries on…a series of regrets and what ifs….

How does one avoid this trap? We all grow up hearing the adage – whatever happens, is for the best. And most of us grow up to believe it and pass it on to the next generation. Situations we have fought and protested against, turns of Fate we have cribbed about, or choices forced upon us that we have kicked out at – haven’t we all so often lived to bless these “adversities?”

In retrospect, much of what we desired and didn’t get later seems like stuff we are well rid of, be it a job, a car, some particular house, a dream or even a lover!

Life has a strange way of falling into a pattern as we move on, creating an interesting mosaic, which though unfathomable from near, assumes greater meaning as we move further away from it. There seems suddenly to have been a reason for whatever happened. Well, the reason was always there, I guess. Suddenly it seems comprehensible to us.

As we move away from a situation and move on in life, we understand why we were denied certain things and how not getting others that we coveted actually was a great blessing for us.

There seems to be a Power, someone up there who knows it all. Someone who has laid out the pattern and reveals it to us only bit by bit. As long as you trust in this, you may rest assured that life seems more manageable and you better equipped to handle it.

This serves as a great source of solace too. Whenever you don’t manage to get what you aimed for, you can always fall back on the face-saver that whatever happens, is for the best!

However, let’s not sound facetious here. If you believe in the Power that be, great, if you don’t then you have to believe that the only reason you seem better off without what you got is because you convince yourself into believing so, and it’s no better than a case of sour grapes!

I prefer to go with the first explanation…What about you?

with love Zeenat

Did You Like this post? Posts are updated thrice a week! Get them emailed to your inbox or subscribe via RSS.

Please share this post on the social media site of your choice.


Share via Facebook/Twitter/Stumble/Digg etc..


See The Positives In All Situations


{Total Read Time- 7 mins.}

Avoid negative thoughts of powerlessness, dejection, failure, and despair. Chronic stress make us vulnerable to negative suggestion. Learn to focus on positives.

  • Focus on your strengths

  • Learn from the stress you are under

  • Look for opportunities in the stressful situation

  • Seek out the positive – make a change

Here is one way to get out of the destructive negative thinking habits. All possible situations we face can be classified into two categories:

One: Situations where we can do something about to change the outcome.

In this case, don’t just sit there and worry about it. Go ahead and take care of it. You have control. Procrastination is the root cause for many stressful episodes.

Second: Situations where you have no control on the outcome.

In this case sitting and worrying will not make any difference on the outcome. So, don’t worry about it. Let the situation resolve by itself; you cannot do anything about this anyway.

When all seems to be doom and gloom, there are still positive possibilities; you just have to look for them. Too often, we only focus on the negatives.

Learn to look at every difficult situation as a present; the gift within is the possibilities it holds. To open the gift you must find the “possibility.”

When you are in a difficult or a stressful situation, reflect on the following four questions:

1) Could it be worse?
2) Are there lessons I can learn to avoid a similar situation in the future?
3) What good can be realized?
4) What am I going to do about it?


In the majority of cases, there is always a worse situation we could be in. By reflecting on a worse situation, it helps put the current situation into perspective.


Look at the situation. Could it have been avoided? Don’t go beating yourself up for not realizing this previously. Learn from the situation. Mistakes are our greatest teachers! No sense dwelling on the issue. Recognize and think of ways for the future to avoid a similar situation and then move on! Remember you can’t change the past, but you can change the future!


This is the gift. Rather than focusing our energy and thoughts on the negative of the situation, look for the positive. Sometimes you have to look hard, sometimes you don’t even realize until later. But in every situation, there is positive, you just have to find it! By focusing on the positive you are helping to reduce your stress levels!


In my opinion, this is the most critical! What are you going to do? Often just by taking action, by doing something about the situation we can relieve the stress and help correct the situation.

Here are a couple of real life examples:

Example 1 -You have lost your job.

*Could it be worse? You bet. You could have lost your health and without your health you could not obtain any type of work.

*Are there lessons you could learn? Depending on the circumstances, absolutely. Did you bring value to your company, (suggesting ways to improve company profits, continuing your education, etc) or, did you see the situation coming but did nothing to further yourself, such as looking for other employment.

*What good can be realized? You can look for a job in an area that you have an interest in where you may find a better opportunity.

*What am I going to do? Start looking for another job!

Example 2 – I don’t have enough money to buy Christmas/Eid/Diwali… presents.

*Could it be worse? You bet! You could not have enough money to pay your rent/mortgage.

*Are there lessons you could learn? Possibly. Could you have started your shopping earlier taking advantage of sales; could you have made your own gifts; etc?

*What good can be realized? Look around you and be thankful for what you have, appreciate life. Sometimes a note to someone just telling them what they have meant in your life is worth more than anything money could buy. Great suggestions you say, but what if the gifts are for my children – they don’t want a note. In these cases, ask for help from very close family or friends. There are times in all of our lives we need help from others. I truly believe what comes around, goes around. The day will come when your circumstances will be better and you will be able to help a family.OR Go and make something sweet for your kids. Its cheap and holds so much value when its made out of love. The point is there is always a positive solution, we just have to look for it.

*What am I going to do? Rather than sit and feel sorry for yourself, take action, either write that letter, ask for help! OR go ahead and make those gifts!

Example 3 – A simple everyday example is a situation I found myself in last week. I was behind in my work, major work were overdue. I was creating stress for myself just thinking about everything I had to accomplish. I stopped for two minutes and asked myself the four questions:

*Could it be worse? Yes, I could have no job, no income

*Are there lessons I could learn? Yes, I need to set more realistic deadlines, and employ better time management skills.

*What good can be realized? The realization that I was overwhelming myself to the point I was wasting time. Rather than thinking about it, and shuffling the paper from one pile to the next, if I broke the projects down and focused on the smaller task I could have them done by the end of the week.

*What am I going to do? I prioritized and started working with a focus, rather than an overwhelming feeling.

The key to moving on is forgiveness–of self and others. Although it is a waste of energy to worry about future events over which we have no control, it is human nature to do so. Plan and prioritize as best you can, and then be easy on yourself. The future hasn’t happened, and the past is not going to happen again. In the words, “Be here now.” You can start by recognizing and accepting when a situation is beyond your control.

If you focus on the possible positives when you experience difficult situations, YOU CAN positively change your outlook, reduce your stress, and concentrate on achieving things that otherwise may not have been possible.