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The Hidden Importance of Hobbies (And How To Get Started)

by Julie Morris, Life and Career Coach

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

All too often, hobbies are labeled as fun pastimes in our daily lives and are considered to have few tangible benefits. That being said, there is increasing evidence to suggest that having a hobby is good for your mind, body, and personal development. If you want to learn how to start your hobby, keep reading!

Socialization

For those who enjoy being around other people, there are numerous social hobbies available. To maximize the benefits of a socialized hobby, make sure that the people you are with are positive influences. Try to embark on a new hobby journey with someone who you enjoy being with and who makes you feel good about yourself. Having a friend accompany you can encourage and motivate you to actually do it. This motivation can be incredibly powerful when you are feeling tired and unmotivated. Not ready to involve a friend? Consider an online hobby, such as blogging, graphic design, or photo editing. You could also consider challenging yourself by learning a new musical instrument - doing so can teach valuable skills in perseverance and dedication. There are also countless online music tutorials to help you learn at your own pace.

Stress Relief

Day-to-day life contains a myriad of stresses, whether from work, family, or friends. For this reason, people need to do things they enjoy as a way to balance the various pressures they face. Interest-based hobbies act as a natural stimulant, and can offer your brain a much-needed reprieve from negative and stressful thoughts. If you enjoy working with your hands, consider knitting, carpentry, or even hand-held mazes. If you like physical activity, consider running, yoga, and hiking (all of which facilitate the production of serotonin, a hormone that can make you feel happier, sleep better, and regulate appetite). Don’t know what stress-relieving hobby to start? Not to worry! Go online and check out a few fun ideas - there’s truly something for everyone!

Self-esteem

Learning a new skill can increase a person’s confidence in their abilities and, as a result, improve overall self-esteem. Mastering even a small task can leave people feeling accomplished and motivated. Additionally, hobbies can help individuals learn more about themselves, their skills, and their thinking patterns. If you want to focus on building self-esteem through a hobby, consider volunteering, learning to cook, photography, or fostering a pet. After starting a new pastime, you will likely be amazed at what you are capable of.

Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery is an immensely challenging process that requires individuals to commit their time, energy, and emotional resources to rehabilitation. If you are currently recovering from an addiction, you know how all-encompassing this process can be. At the end of the day, you may feel too exhausted to even begin to think about socializing through extracurricular activities, but having a hobby can actually help you get back in the social saddle. DrugRehab.org explains, “One of the hardest parts of being in recovery is feeling like you’re alone, or feeling uncomfortable around others while you’re in a fragile emotional state. Having a hobby can help you set the tone of your social encounters as well as keep them short and sweet; make a date with a friend to go for a swim or head to a DIY pottery class together.” Whether you do it solo, with a group of friends, or online, a hobby can be a positive addition to your recovery process.

Starting a hobby is one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your well-being. A new hobby can help your personal development by connecting you with people, building self-confidence, reducing stress, and developing healthy coping mechanisms. No matter what healthy hobby you choose, you will see a number of positive, supportive effects that will help you along your journey.

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