By Kendra Penski on March 14, 2019 in Blog

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Spending time on hobbies you enjoy can improve your well-being and mental health.  They are a great way to relax and unwind from your daily routines.  Hobbies can be reading, art, music, learning a new skill or simply doing something outdoors.  The great thing about hobbies is there are no rules on what one can be!

Scientifically, people who have hobbies have lower stress levels and are less likely to suffer from depression.  Outdoor activities (as we have previously written) can especially make you feel happier and more relaxed.  Hobbies can even be practiced in groups, such as team sports.  These types of hobbies can improve your social skills and communication with others.

Hobbies can boost your self-image, spending time on honing your own personal talents with a hobby has shown to boost self-esteem.  After time your hobby could turn into mastery of a subject.  For example, in one study, people who play guitar as a hobby had increased patience, work ethic, and confidence in self and skills.

Even though we use hobbies to take a break from our day to day routine, they could actually help us improve our careers.  This might seem counterintuitive, but a hobby could in fact make you better at your job.  A hobby can help you balance work-life stress and help decrease the chance of becoming burned out at the job.  If our daily activities are monotonous and only consist of work and home, you will eventually become drained.  A hobby can improve your focus and drive, and afterwards you can work feeling refreshed.

A hobby could also help you grow spiritually and prevent the creation of bad habits.  A famous saying “an idle mind is the devil’s playground’ – too much boredom and time on our hands can lead to destructive behaviors.  A hobby can give you a positive thing to do to fill a void of empty time.

Mentally challenging hobbies are good ways to improve your memory.  We can exercise our brains even with hobbies such as sewing or arts & crafts.  The reason is that when we focus on something, similar to how we focus on meditation, this gives our brains a great workout.  This can even protect our brains from aging related issues such as memory loss.

Choosing your new hobby can be anything from something you always had a desire to learn, or something you did in the past and stopped for some reason.  You can join a local organization such as a book club or sports team.  Put aside time in your day to practice your new hobby and start enjoying the benefits an extra activity will give you mentally!