Why Hobbies Are Good For Mind And Body

Hobbies can be enjoyed by people of all ages!

Happy couple dancing together in the kitchen while cooking.

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When was the last time you started a new hobby or revisited one that you once enjoyed? Many children are encouraged to spend time developing their musical, creative and artistic skills, as well as their physical and athletic ones, oftentimes being signed up to multiple extracurricular activities. This may be because parents and caregivers want kids to learn about themselves and figure out their likes and interests at a young age. It can also be because having something we love to do besides school and work is important for our wellbeing. And this is true for adults as well.

Find something you enjoy
A hobby, explains WebMD, can be any activity that you enjoy doing in your leisure time and enthusiastically look forward to. It fills you with a sense of fulfillment and happiness, and can help you decompress after a hard day at work. It boosts your physical and mental health, and makes you feel good. But how do you go about finding one or ones that work for you?

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A good place to start is knowing what your options are. There are lots of kinds of hobbies to choose from. Creative hobbies are ones that fulfill a person’s artistic side, such as painting, acting, playing a musical instrument, scrapbooking and writing poetry. Athletic hobbies are ones that include physical movement such as playing a sport, skiing, gymnastics, dancing and jogging. Intellectual hobbies are ones that boost our thinking, such as playing chess, reading and learning a new language

Some hobbies can be more spiritual such as doing yoga and meditating and others can include household activities such as baking and gardening. There is definitely no shortage of hobby options, and you might enjoy trying some new ones out. It is recommended to do some research and talk to people who already do those activities to learn about them before starting a new hobby.

Take Jen, a woman who rediscovered her love for sewing as reported by Unique Magazines. She reminisces fondly about the joy of sewing with her late seamstress mother as a child. When she became a mother herself, while initially feeling that she was too busy to sew, she then found that motherhood awakened her creativity. Watching her kids get lost in the process of creating without being worried about the result meant that she felt freed to revisit her childhood hobby without feeling that she needs to be a perfectionist. Today, it allows her to “relax and find joy in a busy world.”

The benefits of hobbies
It can be easy to see the benefits of some physical activities to our fitness and health, such as playing sports and other athletic options. And according to Utah State University, studies show that hobbies in general, whichever ones you practice and enjoy, give a person incredible benefits. These take in helping them feel happier and more fulfilled, improved relationships, reduced stress and higher confidence. That’s because spending time doing things we enjoy activates the reward system in our brain, which then motivates us to continue doing them, explains The Conversation

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Another study, published in March 2020 in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics shows that doing activities we love decreases the risk of depression.

Making time for a hobby
It is true that our lives feel like they have never been busier. Adults have multiple responsibilities and stresses that children don’t, which makes it harder to make time for hobbies. 

But maybe that’s exactly why we should, since hobbies have the potential to help us relax and destress.
So instead of looking at it as another “to-do” and added pressure, perhaps it can be the opposite;  view the self-care and enjoyable activities you take up in your leisure time as doing  you, your body and your soul lots of good.

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