My wife Claire and I are both in their 60s. As our children grew up and left home, we now thought our lives would be slow. But we seem to be busier than ever.
Talk about what you don’t want to do, but the fact that you can’t decide what to reduce (the number of Zoom calls, projects, and Instagram posts is low) makes us as happy as we are now. is showing.
And that seems to be the case for many busy people. We moan about not having enough time to get things done (busy people like to brag about being busy), but recent research has shown that while they have plenty of leisure time, they have free time. It concludes that increasing the number of people does not necessarily make people happy, which can make us positively unhappy.
The University of Pennsylvania survey results are based on a survey completed by more than 21,000 Americans. They were asked to provide a detailed explanation of what they did during the day and to assess their well-being, how comfortable they were about their lives.
We moan about not having enough time to get things done (busy people like to brag about being busy), but recent research has shown that more free time does not necessarily give people more free time. I concluded that it doesn’t make me happy
Researchers have found that people with little free time are not the happiest, and that as they have more free time, they feel more happy.
However, this leveled off when people had about two hours of free time a day (the amount of time they could spend as they please, without work or housework), and began to decline after five hours. ..
Why? It’s no wonder that being busy gives us a sense of purpose. It also helps keep our brain in good condition.
Evidence of this comes from a number of studies, including those conducted several years ago by the University of Texas. They asked middle-aged and older volunteers to do a brain test and fill out a “busy” questionnaire.
This included questions such as: How often do you do too much every day to actually complete everything? How often do you do so much that you go to bed later than your normal bedtime?
They found that, of course, people tend to get busier as they get older, and women of all ages appear to be busier than men.
They also found that busy people of all ages in the study have better working memory (the ability to hold multiple things in your mind at the same time). Better episodic memory (the ability to remember past events); and faster processing speeds, that is, their brains seemed to work faster.
Researchers have found that people with little free time are the happiest, and that as they have more free time, they feel more happy. But if people had about two hours of free time, this leveled off.
Researchers have applied this to people who have a busy lifestyle, have new experiences, and meet new people. All of this is mentally tougher than staying at home with a program to watch on Netflix.
They also suggest that this leads to the growth of new brain cells, especially in the hippocampus, a region of the brain related to memory, as busy people often have to learn new things.
Studies show that wrestling with new languages and spending leisure time on mentally challenging physical activities such as dancing is really good for middle-aged brains.
The downside of being busy is that you can be stressed, especially if you need to work long hours or if you have no control over what you do in your spare time. It also means that you may not be spending time meeting friends and family.
And that’s a bad thing. Because maintaining close relationships is very important to our physical and mental health.
This can be seen in studies such as the Harvard Longitudinal Study, one of the longest human studies ever conducted. In the 1930s, researchers recruited 724 students (all males) from Harvard University and young men from the Boston area for lifelong research.
Some men, like John F. Kennedy, became famous for being rich, while others lived a normal life. The main finding of this study was that men with close friends and partners were much more likely to be happy and healthy until old age than men without them.
The impact of having close friends on your health is important. In a study that monitored more than 300,000 middle-aged people for an average of seven and a half years, those with the strongest social ties had few friends at the end of the study.
The impact of having close friends is comparable to smoking cessation, much greater than, for example, losing weight or becoming more active (although, of course, it’s good anyway).
I’m not good at catching up with my old friends (although I’m determined to do better), but one of my priorities is the local book club I’ve met for many years. And now we are all close friends.
If you are already very busy, you will not want my advice on what you can productively add to your life to keep yourself even busier.
But if you’re getting more time than you ideally want, get in touch with your old friends, invite others for a walk with you, start a new hobby, or volunteer. It is recommended to do it.
As American philosopher Henry Thoreau once said, “Busy isn’t enough. So is Ali. The question is, what are we busy about?”
Sitting for long periods of time is sometimes referred to as new smoking. Not only is it really bad for the heart, it also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and is associated with some cancers.
Most of us spend too much time sitting, working on computers, playing games, watching TV.
One of the best ways to counter the effects of sitting for long periods of time is to get up and move every 30 minutes or so.
And now we know when you need to do this: Studies in Sweden have found that every 30 minutes you sit are active for 2-3 minutes, ideally It seems like you need to take a walk and protect your metabolic health-even better, climb stairs or squat.
To make sure you do that, get the app or set your smartphone to notify you to move twice an hour.
Why you can’t wait for booster jabs
When the time comes, I’m eager to get a booster Covid jab, and hopefully get a flu jab at the same time.
I’m a big fan of vaccines. In fact, the vaccine is working, and a recent study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows how great the Covid vaccine is doing, in particular.
Of the 51,281 Covid deaths in the first half of this year, only 458 (about 0.9%) were double-jabbed.
Despite the overwhelming evidence that the Covid vaccine is safe and effective, there are still millions of adults in the UK who have chosen not to vaccinate. Not only do they endanger themselves, but also our other people.
One of the vaccine repellents is my friend. A few days ago she told me she didn’t have a jab, and I’m not sure what she wants to do. She is in her 40s and doesn’t think she’s in danger.
As I pointed out, she may not get a serious illness, but if she gets infected, she is likely to get a long covid.
Covid mainly kills older men, but women aged 35-69 are most likely to have a longer covid.
According to ONS, about 1 in 4 people in this group have at least one protracted symptom 5 weeks after infection, ranging from loss of taste and smell to mental fog to complete energy depletion. It can be really unpleasant. And, as another friend said, “I feel like someone is sitting on your chest.”
The best way to protect yourself from long Covids is to get vaccinated.
According to a King’s College London study, double vaccination not only reduces the risk of feeling sick when infected, but also halves the chance that these will persist in the event of symptoms. increase.
I told my friend the facts. I really hope she will change her mind.