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UFV 2002

How important is leisure time? How important is time to relax and to collect yourself? Many doctors believe that learning to relax in order to relieve day-to-day tension could one day save your life.

In our fast-paced world, it is almost impossible to avoid building up tension from stress. All of us confront stress daily; anything that places an extra demand on us is stress. We encounter stress on the job, and we face it at home.

The body responds to stress by "mobilizing its defenses." Blood pressure rises and muscles get ready to act. If our tension is not relieved, it can start numerous reactions, both physical and psychological. Yet, we can learn to cope with stress effectively and to avoid its consequences. How? By relaxing in the face of stress. According to researcher Hans Selye of the University of Montreal, the effects of stress depend not on what happens to us, but on the way we react. In times of stress, taking a few moments to sit quietly and relax can make anyone feel better.

Some people enjoy listening to classical music, while others are interested in going to rock concerts. One person may be fascinated by watching an eagle in its nest, whereas another might be bored by sitting in a field for hours, studying the eagle through binoculars. It may be pure pleasure for you to play endless hours of chess, but for others it could be pure frustration. Fortunately, people have invented countless ways of amusing themselves, and whatever your particular taste is, no doubt there's a physical or mental activity for you to get involved in and enjoy. Of course, finding the activity that is right for you is half the fun!

And don't forget: Take your time to smell the flowers.


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