Mellow Pastimes Can Be Good For Your Health, Too
When a person is stressed, "their body is worked up – heart rate, blood pressure, hormones – so the more we can prevent this overworked state, the less of a load it builds up," he says.
You could think of this as a sort of mental escape. When you're totally engaged in and enjoying what you're doing, you don't have time to ruminate and worry. You also don't have time to get bored. And boredom, says Zawadzki, can be dangerous.
"There's something called 'boredom eating'," he says, "where people just binge on junk food as a way to distract themselves. We'll often watch TV passively for hours at a time, rather than actively engage or really think about it. People smoke, drink, do drugs when they're bored."
Sounds like good reasoning to me. I know that when I make the time to read daily, I certainly feel like my life is more complete and less stressful, even if I'm super busy. It's a bit of an oxymoron -- making time to read may make me busier by leaving less time to do other things, but it also makes me feel less stressed out about being busy. Plus, it's just fun to read!