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Why taking a time out can improve your happiness

Our culture is obsessed with productivity- that you must stay busy throughout the day. We spend every day obsessing, planning, and worrying about things to do. Many people find themselves running from one task to another while barely making time for a break. Although productivity is necessary for personal and professional progress, I want to remind you of the importance of taking a timeout to improve your happiness. As with the English proverb, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” a demanding life can make you forget to take time out to relax, breathe, and rest.

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash


Here are some of the benefits of taking a timeout to improve your happiness:

Improved Focus

A timeout is an excellent way to improve your focus. When you reduce the number of personal and professional issues, you can focus on the most important things in your life. Do not be tempted to believe that the more you work hard the more you will accomplish. While the statement "being busy is not equal to being productive" might sound cliché, it is true nonetheless. A timeout will motivate and energize you and you will look forward to going back to work as you have clear goals and objectives derived from clarity during your break.

Friends and Family

Taking a break is also a great way to improve your relationship with people who matter whether they are family or friends. Often, we find ourselves running from one task to another that we do not pause to remember what is important in life. Spending quality time with family and friends is one way to improve your overall well-being. Being around people that you love reminds you of what matters in life. It is often said that people will remember you for how you made them feel and taking a timeout to be with loved ones is one way to make them happy.

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Good Physical Health

Taking a timeout is good for your physical health. Physicians recommend regular breaks away from professional commitments to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. Indeed, research shows that people who take regular breaks from work report lower stress levels and overall good health. Taking a break is also an excellent way to improve your immune system by giving the body time to recharge and reactivate its systems. By helping the body to fight common illnesses, you will avoid poor health which is often a leading cause of unhappiness.

Improved Mental Health

Aside from physical health, a break is good for your mental health. Doctors have found that exposure to consistent stress alters the structure of the brain causing depression and anxiety. Taking a timeout creates feelings of calm that relieve stress. This allows the body and the mind to recover from exposure to stress and prepares you to handle the future confidently.


Greater Creativity

A timeout will considerably improve your creativity. The brain is more creative when a person is relaxed because it can tap more mental resources to deal with difficult problems. This is the reason why brilliant thinkers and innovators report finding a breakthrough when they were on holiday. When you take a break to chill and unwind you will be more inspired and creative. Also, a break will improve your memory and you might remember a solution to that nagging question that you couldn’t otherwise remember if you were stressed. Therefore, if you feel like you need inspiration take some time out and you will be surprised by your creativity.

Avoid Burnout

Taking a break is a useful way to avoid burnout. A majority of us work demanding jobs with strict deadlines, busy schedules, and countless job demands. Apart from work demands, you must deal with personal and family commitments. These needs can overwhelm and cause burnout. It is advisable to deal with personal and professional demands by setting aside time to recharge and reenergize. Apart from getting ample rest, a timeout will improve your creativity and productivity at home and work.

Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash


Keep Positive

Taking a break is also an excellent way to keep positive. Hundreds and thousands of life’s demands can overwhelm you and get in the way of happiness. However, taking time out to do the things you love or to spend time with loved ones will remind you of the joys of life. Not only will you share great moments with others, but you will also open your eyes to new experiences and moments that will improve your outlook on life.


Hobbies are activities that stimulate the body and mind in exciting ways. Taking a timeout is a good start to maintain the current and experiment with new hobbies. As you grow old and life's demands increase, you find that you lack time for your hobbies. The result is that you grow discontented as you settle for a rigid life. However, it does not have to remain this way. Taking a timeout will provide time to explore new hobbies. Therefore, make time for activities that stimulates your brain and those that exercise the body. In this way, you will train your mind to think differently, explore new ideas, and deal with new challenges.



Taking a timeout is a great way to help you reflect on important aspects of your life. Making time for yourself will allow you to reflect on issues such as your purpose, progress, motivation, and place in the world. This exercise will show you whether you are happy with your life or whether you should make changes to your life. For example, you might decide to change careers upon reflection. A break can also give you time for a fresh start if you are seeking to reinvent your life.

Hence, stop procrastinating on your next break. Stop waiting for the perfect time to take a break. Stop making excuses. Set aside time for yourself and your loved ones. You will not only love it, but you will get lots of benefits too.

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