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Natasha Wilson

Carla Davison
English 2010
November 22, 2016
Importance of Leisure
“Happiness is Leisure”, as said by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. When do you
find yourself the happiest? Certainly, you would not answer that question with sitting at your
desk during work. Whether it may be laying by the beach, being surrounded with your loved
ones, or even going for a walk- most people would respond in some form of leisure activity. That
being said, leisure is an important and underestimated aspect of our daily lives. Living in this day
and age we may not all have enough time to give our mind an opportunity to relax from the
stresses of our daily lives. Having the right amount of leisure in your life can help break down
barriers and let people come out of a shell which they are confined in. One can have a healthy
spirit and mind by spending decent time at leisure. Our minds were made to be free, not trapped
within the stresses our daily routines might bring- we are able to acquit ourselves. The
importance of leisure can not be stressed enough; for it is an active role in keeping your mind
and body happy.
Emotional issues are often tied with too much stress, or not enough leisure time. Leisure
time can help reduce those chances by giving your mind and body a break from stress and
anxiety. A lot of people exaggerated the importance of work, and forget something else we need
to help us endure true happiness. Leisure does not have to be vacation, or being idle, nor does it
have to be for the own sake of going back to work refreshed. It can be an opening towards the
deeper truths of life. Leisure can be a spiritual and mental attitude (Boddunan). Personally, I

participate in leisure for more than just a break, I engage in it because it truly increases my
quality of life. I feel more alive when I am doing the things I am passionate about. It is a joy I
find hard to find within my work or schooling. It is not laziness, but rather an inner calmness that
can enable one to see realistically. With leisure time, we are able to apprehend the world, and
encounter party of reality that we may miss out on during our daily toil. Leisure is a harmony
between oneself and the rest of creation (Austin, Leisure and Happiness). It is not only just a
break from work, it is done for its own sake. Leisure can affirm us in our humanity and plays a
role in what it means to be a person living in satisfaction (Chick, Leisure Constraints, Leisure
Satisfaction). On an average, people from India spend 71% of their time each week is spent on
learning, leisure, and personal care, while only 18 percent is used on productive activities (Time
Use Survey). It is also said that Indians are among the world’s happiest people (Reuters,
Reaney), I believe leisure plays a part in that. Can you imagine spending 71% of your time each
week engaging in leisure? If you ask me, that sounds like a dream. Saturdays are commonly the
most favored day of the week (Boddunan), including my own. I find myself the happiest on
Saturdays.Why may that be? It is as simple as just having some time to ourselves. Even the
thought of having the freedom to sleep in, go on bike rides, and spend time with friends and
family makes me joyous. We as humans, who may not be able to live a leisurely way of life,
should at least spare an hour of leisure a day. From my experience, even taking the slightest time
to engage in some form of leisure increases my mood greatly. Being a full-time college student
can be extremely stressful at times, that being said, it is important to show your mind and body a
little love. I participate in yoga for at least an hour everyday, and I believe without that time to
myself I would maybe go a little crazy. Getting caught up in the world that surrounds us is
mentally and physically draining. If you are one who is constantly on the move, I recommend

you stopping every here and there, even for one quick minute, and let your mind take a breathe.
Let your body feel present, and your spirit untamed. A little time to yourself is better than
nothing.
The benefits of leisure are not just mental, they are physical as well. Not having enough
leisure, or having too much work, can negatively affect our physical well being. Our forefathers
that were free from work loads and stresses of the daily modern life were active participants in a
leisurely lifestyle. That being said, they were also free from problems and diseases that were
caused by living in stressful situations (Boddunan). Studies have shown stress from all sorts of
challenging situations can play a big role on cardiovascular symptoms and can result to a heart
attack risk. It also applies to depression, anger, hostility, anxiety, and social isolation. Each of
those factors, even acting alone, can develop heart problems. As shown in the figure below,
heart attacks rose as the stock market crashed according to The American Journal of Cardiology
(Patient Education Center). Engaging in the right amount of leisure can help lower your chances
of developing a heart problem, and aid your body to be physically content. People who have had
a heart attack are advised to stay clear from work for 4-12 weeks. Personally, I believe the reason
behind that is quite obvious. The fact that something as simple as going to work can be so
harmful to the heart must say something to us working class Americans. We must take care of
our heart, and bodies as much as we
are stressing them with our daily routines.
On the other hand, one may admit that
leisure time is unnecessary in our daily lives, because of its
lack of production. Leisure time does commit to not
working, or doing the specific duties you are assigned to

do. Some may consider leisure time being “lazy” for that reason. Some may find it difficult to
enjoy leisure because there is so much stress and pressure in this society to be constantly doing
something productive. Nevertheless, having the right amount of leisure can increase productivity
throughout your work, or school (Boddunan). Giving your mind chance to relax can positively
effect the way it functions once you go back to your work. We’ve all been told once before to
take a break from our work when we get stuck, that way when we come back to it we may have
new, fresh ideas flowing— leisure is that break. As a student, I have heard countless times to take
breaks from my studies when my brain gets stuck. Many professors advise their students to walk
away from their computer for a little to let the mind “reboot”. I have found taking breaks during
in my studies, and engaging in a different activity can increase my thought process and aid me to
think more creatively.
A life with this type of leisure will be fuller and happier; most importantly, it will be more
truly human. People who engage in leisure activities often are subject to an increase in their life
satisfaction and quality of life (Chick, Leisure Constraints, Leisure Satisfactions). Leisure gives
our mind an opportunity to relax from the stresses of our daily lives and divert our attention in an
ingenious and effective way. My absolute favorite part of my day is when I am on my yoga matt,
living in the “now” and letting my mind free from constraints that work, or school might have.
Even though I may not have all the time on my mat that I would like, just that little time makes a
big difference in my day. When partaking leisure in something you love, time is nearly just an
object. Letting your spirit free does not need much time, it just needs commitment. There is no
harm in showing yourself a little love in engaging yourself in something you truly enjoy doing.
William Henry Davis expresses in the poem below that there is so much beauty around us, and
we rarely let ourselves be present in the world surrounding us. We must recognize and allow our

minds and bodies be free to the expressions we are born to make. To value leisure is ultimately to
value yourself.
LEISURE
By William Henry Davies
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Reflection
Throughout this semester I’ve learned a lot on writing. Especially because we had to
transform 1 topic, into three different writing styles. For my open letter I didn’t do much
research, I sort of just wrote to what came to heart- which made it more personal (which

I also believe was the point). This form of writing came the most natural to me, and I
think its because its the one we had the most freedom with. I’m good with guidelines,
but being completely free is intriguing to me. It was very enjoyable to me to be able to
write down my feelings about my topic with hardly any restrictions- it was a great start
to writing my informational and persuasive essays. My informational effect essay was
almost the complete opposite. This essay was the most challenging for me because I
have a heard tome keeping my own opinions out. I had to approach it in the manner of
presenting what a topic was as a big picture. With my topic being Leisure, it was
extremely difficult to leave my bias out because I feel like leisure is a little one sided- its
doesn’t have that much of an argument to it. My information project required the most
research out of the three. Practically the whole essay was research, thus it being
informational. I spent almost an equal amount of research as I did writing the actual
essay, but the more research I had the better. I took all the information I found and
wrote it in a way that it could flow from one topic to another. I added a couple graphs
too that showed my topic in a different perspective. This essay showed me the power of
facts and graphs in informational essays that aren’t supposed to be biased. I presented a
lot of factual information that didn’t necessarily cause a bias, but proved a point- which
I found successful in my essay. The persuasion effect essay did not require as much
research as my information effect essay because I had already gotten all the information
gathered. I did a little more research on the online library, but I used most of the

information I had gotten from the project before. I enjoyed writing the persuasion effect
project the most because I was able to combine the two past projects in one. It felt like
the last two projects prepared me for this essay, so when it was time, I was ready. I took
my informational essay and added a personal side two it (including my opinions to
persuade). Although, I did make my opinion clear in my essay, I tried to make sure I
didn’t over do it. Because I enjoyed writing this essay so much, I’ve also chosen to
perfect it for my look back effect project. Since its been some time since I finished it, I
can come back to it with fresh different ideas on how to make it more successful. I
decided to add more information on it, as well as a narrative to make it come more in
perspective for the reader.
At the beginning of the semester I was really worried that the topic Leisure was
going to be too challenging for me to use for all 4 projects. I thought about changing it,
but I am really glad I didn’t. I was always passionate about leisure, and giving yourself
a break, and studying this topic for the last 4 months has made me appreciate it even
more. I’ve learned the different effects it has on your body physically and mentallysomething I’m not sure I would have known otherwise. It has been a topic where I have
had genuine interest in throughout the entire semester and projects, so I’ve had a lot of
fun writing about it in all the different contexts.

Works Cited
Bureau, Our Economy. "Leisure Time Use Is 71% In India." India News, Latest News Headlines,
BSE Live, NSE Live, Stock Markets Live, Financial News, Business News & Market
Analysis on Indian Economy. Business-Standard, 2000. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

"Charts by Topic: Leisure and Sports Activities." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

Chick, Garry, et al. "Leisure Constraints, Leisure Satisfaction, Life Satisfaction, And Self-Rated
Health In Six Cities In Taiwan." Leisure Sciences 37.3 (2015): 232-251.
Academic

Search Premier. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

"Hearts and Minds: How Stress and Negative Emotions Affect the Heart." Patient Education
Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

Austin, Michael W. "Leisure and Happiness." Psychology Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

Sid. "The Importance of Leisure in Our Life." Boddunan. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2016.

Social Indicators Research, 2002, Volume 57, Number 1, Page 43 Kathleen M. Lloyd,
Christopher J. Auld

Publications, Harvard Health. "Returning to Work after a Heart Attack - Harvard Health."
Harvard

Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.

“The Definition of Leisure." Dictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.