An Essay On The Importance Of Leisure For Well Being

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David Kennedy
Leisure for Well-Being
August 23, 2013

Well-Being
Philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle argued that human motives and actions are directed toward goodness and well-being. As mankind thrives, each person strives to make progress in achieving more goodness and happiness which raises their ultimate well-being. A couple years ago, I encountered an experience that led me to take an action towards my well-being.

I have always had a passion for soccer. Even as a young boy, I played soccer year round. Through my elementary and high school years, soccer had become the greatest interest in my life. It was so integral, that it was my defining factor for choosing the college I would attend. I decided that I would go to Augustana College with a scholarship to play the sport I love. Through one full academic year there, I enjoyed playing the game while my class grades suffered. I slowly began to realize that I cared a lot more about my academic success and an interest in a future medical profession than I first thought.

At that point of my life, I knew that I had to make a change to improve my overall well-being. I decided to transfer to a school where I could reach my academic goals for my future well-being. From my experience, I can hypothesize my own personal definition of well-being. Well-being is a physical and mental state that consists of having all human needs to live; with a social and personal network of goals that lead to a purpose. Some indications of optimal well-being beyond meeting one’s basic needs are: a supportive network of friends/family, goals for accomplishments in life and additives such as faith, hobbies and fun. All of these things come together to provide a physical state and mental position of stability for a healthy mind and body. This is a state of well-being.

The definition of well-being is a complex task that may have diverse answers. The World Health Organization begins this task by defining health as, “A state of optimal well-being, not merely the absence of disease and infirmity” (Hassmén 17). The Medical Wellness Archives begins with this definition as the center point of defining well-being (Hassmén 17). Wellness practitioners focus on a wide array of dimensions that create the whole concept of well-being.

The components of well-being include the interactions that one has throughout their life . These include physical, mental, emotional, environmental, spiritual, and social interactions (Hassmén 18). It is important to have each of those components in order to achieve ultimate well-being. The total experience of life from each component directly correlates to the vitality and well-being of the individual. This hypothesis of well-being originated in ancient Greek times by Hippocrates, and has evolved through modern times (Hassmén 19). Modern medicine’s success rate in separating disease and illness from the patient has also allowed for a greater opportunity to improve well-being.

It is the entire experience of life that defines a person, and well-being is made up of the dimensions that are experienced. In my opinion, a diverse balance of each component would be most beneficial for the optimal state of well-being. As soccer is of great interest to me, it may not be what provides an improvement in someone else’s well-being. Although, physical exercise is one of the most successful ways of increasing one’s well-being.

Physical exercise has plenty of benefits for improving health. It is an integral component to living a healthy long life. As physical exercise contributes to our physical health, it influences our mental and social health as well. All of this factors into the overall state of well-being.

A population study conducted in Finland observed physical exercise and psychological well-being. Dr. Peter Hassmen led the experimental study in 2000. After examining 3,403 participants between the ages of 25 and 64, the results of...
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