Hobbies: A Source of Wellness

By Roberto Figueroa

Hobbies are much more than activities we do for fun or things we engage in because we like them. They can be channels through which we can experience personal growth, expand our social circle, and receive physical and emotional benefits. Here are some reasons why having a hobby is a good investment of time and energy.

Reboots The Brain
Today, many of us live busy, rushed lives, struggling to balance our time between work, home, and family. As a result, our minds constantly tackle multiple problems at the same time, overwhelming our brains in the process. Because hobbies are single tasks that require concentration (like reading a book, woodworking, or playing soccer) they give our minds the opportunity to shut off the multitude of thoughts by focusing our minds on the task at hand. This streamlines our thoughts and allows our brain to take a break and relax, leaving us refreshed and renewed.

Opportunity To Be Ourselves
Hobbies can also give us a way to express ourselves and explore parts of our personality that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Arts, crafts, sports, and even collecting can be great channels for self-­ expression. This can be especially healthy for those of us that spend most of our days doing something that doesn’t permit us to show who we are. So, in many ways, hobbies help us define ourselves, and can give us a since of purpose.

They Connect Us with People with Similar Interests
It is true that hobbies can help us find a place of solitude, but even those that prefer to engage in solitary activities can’t hide their excitement when interacting with someone that likes to do the same activities as they do. Solitary gardeners can spend hours talking with the floor associate at their local gardening shop, and even book enthusiasts find it hard to contain their glee when they meet another avid reader.
It’s in our nature to want to connect with people that share our same interests, and hobbies can be a great way of entering new social circles and making friends.

Strengthens Our Self-­‐Esteem And Releases Stress
Developing and mastering a skill fills us with a sense of accomplishment that boosts our confidence and self-­ esteem, both of which positively impact how we lead other areas of our lives. Hobbies also allow us to put our worries aside, and the mental focus enclothe provide help us release accumulated stress, which makes us feel happier and helps us be more productive at work and at home.

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