The University Network

Why Being Busy is a Blessing

Never have any free time? Be thankful. Being busy is a blessing.

Constantly having things to do can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember how valuable busyness can be. Sometimes it can be hard to remain grateful when you have a hundred things on your plate, which is why it is essential to keep in mind the feeling you get at the end of the day when you’ve crossed everything off your “to-do” list.

Living a busy lifestyle… is beneficial for your mental health.

According to research, busier people tend to have better cognition, particularly when it comes to remembering past events, regardless of age.

Researchers from the University of Texas, Dallas and the University of Alabama looked at the impact of busyness on mental health, and a study featured in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found there to be a positive correlation between the two.

Researchers enlisted around 300 men and women from ages 50 to 89 years old and asked them questions about their daily lifestyle. Based on the answers, the participants were then given tests that measured their processing speed, working memory, long-term memory, and reasoning. During the study, the selected group of subjects had to complete many tasks. The participants were shown two strings of numbers and had to decide whether they were the same or different. They looked at a range of boxes on a computer screen and had to remember the location of a blue token in working memory for accurate performance. Additionally, they were presented with 12 words and had to read each word aloud one by one on a computer screen. Instantly after the word list, the subjects were asked to recall as many words as possible.

From the study, researchers concluded that higher levels of busyness were associated with better cognition in adults aged 50-89 and the biggest effects were observed for “episodic memory,” or the memory of autobiographical events.

The authors of the study finished off by encouraging people to maintain active and busy routine throughout middle and late adulthood.

Living a busy lifestyle… benefits you intellectually.

Being busy pushes your boundaries and influences you to jump out of your comfort zone. Your mind is constantly switched on and develops you as a person. Busyness might induce you into exploring a new skill, learning about your abilities and everything you can achieve. Just the fact that you have multiple things to do teaches you how to organize and prioritize tasks, as well as helps you learn the most efficient ways of getting through your responsibilities. You might be thinking, “How am I being benefited intellectually if I am busy doing the same thing every day?” Although you might be occupied due to something you do frequently, your mind is regularly increasing trails in your brain that look into how you can do the job faster, more effectively or differently.

Living a busy lifestyle… gives you self-confidence.

Checking things off your to-do list and getting through everything you need to get done gives you a feeling of self-accomplishment and fulfillment. Instead of sitting at home and wasting your day, by being busy you are doing something worthy of your time. Just think about one of your busiest days where you managed to get everything done. How did you feel that night, when your “to-do” list was just a blank page on your computer? The fact that you are achieving so much in life boosts your confidence and ego. Not only are you physically active, but also, your brain is constantly thinking and working harder than usual.

Additionally, other studies have shown how busyness makes people happy. An article in Sage Journals shows that college students who have more hectic routines are reported to be happier than those who stay idle.

Living a busy lifestyle… is a good distraction from the negativity.

Being busy means you don’t have any time for negative thoughts and instead are focusing on things that truly matter. If you are having issues with a partner, friends or family, getting on with work is the best and healthiest distraction! Why mope around and do nothing, when you can use that energy to do something that needs to be done anyway. Put your focus and attention on what’s needed!

Finding The Balance

Although keeping your body and mind busy is beneficial, it is also important to remember to give yourself a little time to rejuvenate. Having an over stressed lifestyle and not enough downtime can cause stress. This can stop our mind and body from performing to it’s full potential and lead to lagging work.

To refresh and relax yourself, you should go somewhere outside of your “work space.” Being relaxed does not necessarily mean going home, turning on the TV, and lying on the couch. You can relax yourself and take time off doing work while doing other activities. For example, doing short creative writing exercises relaxes me. While doing creative writing, I am still actively using my brain, however I feel relaxed and my mind is free of stress.

Busy is a blessing, but everything in life needs balance.