When I tell you that you need a hobby, I’m not speaking to you like your teenage daughter does when she says “You need a hobby!” after you’ve been interrogating her about her personal life for an hour. But while her motives may be different than mine, she’s actually on to something – and not just distracting you from wanting the story of her life. You really do need a hobby! Why? Because having a hobby has many health benefits – both mental and physical. Here are some of them.
There’s a lot of buzz about mindfulness these days. Mindfulness is paying full attention to your task at hand and clearing your mind of everything else. Create that laser focus, and you’ll find your stress reducing. Hobbies are great tasks for practicing mindfulness. There are a number of studies on the health benefits of knitting and crocheting. These activities are repetitive and soothing and allow you to get lost in a rhythm of creating. The same goes for painting, drawing, sculpting and more. By reducing stress, hobbies can increase your mental clarity.
Hobbies serve as creative outlets, and tapping into our creative side ignites happiness and excitement. If you love what you’re doing, letting creativity flow is as easy as breathing in and out. You’ll be excited to try new things and think of new possibilities. Your body will release endorphins that boost your mood. You may even find when you’re in the creative state that solutions to other issues in your life become clear. Pick up something and create! Take a sketchbook and sit in the park. Grab some pastels or a paintbrush and paint a scene. Or grab your favorite youngster and head outside with sidewalk chalk to release your inner creativity.
Hobbies can offer unique opportunities to socialize and prevent isolation. If you knit, consider taking a class or joining a knitting circle. If you’re an avid golfer, take a group lesson and see what you pick up. If you’re shy, group settings like these, where the focus is on the task not necessarily you, could be perfect for easing you out into the world and meeting like-minded people in a low-pressure environment. Socializing in a fun, relaxed setting can help prevent depression and boost your mood!
Finally, hobbies can be your escape — your safe place. If you spend all day at a high-stress job, then come home to care for three children and an elderly parent, you need a break. Set aside time each week to work on your hobby. You can mentally and physically escape from the pressures of life for a while. I promise you, it will make a world of difference for you. And remember, this is not selfish. This is taking time to care for you, so you can continue to care for everyone else!
Here at Live Life Well, I strive to help each client achieve whole wellness. Hobbies are one piece to the puzzle. For more ideas on how to reduce stress and incorporate hobbies into your life, contact me, Karen David. We’ll get you started on your personal path to happiness and fulfillment.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach and Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.