How Hobbies Improve Your Health

Society demands that we are constantly on the go, which can make stepping away from reality to take a break seem impossible. However, given the stress we endure from never slowing down, a break is necessary from time to time. A vacation is important, but in between your annual beach trips, make time to enjoy a hobby to get a more frequent a break from reality. Through a hobby, you can learn new skills, sharpen old ones, create new friendships, and reduce stress.

Why They’re Great

“Hobbies have no deadlines, no rules, and no pressure to be successful,” says My Mental Health Day. Hobbies exist for your enjoyment. While you’re playing your guitar or molding clay, you don’t have to worry about your boss correcting what you do. You simply do your best and enjoy the moment, which is “a stark contrast from everyday life.” Use your hobby as an excuse to take a break from reality, even if it’s only a few times a week.

Devoting your energy to your family and job is important, but you must make time for yourself, and not just time to stare at a TV or computer screen. Finding time for what gives you joy and passion is the key to keeping your sanity, and it can improve other aspects of your life too. Even though we here at quiltingjr.com obviously have a bias, here a wide array of other hobbies that present similar benefits.

Sports

Sports are a popular hobby. Whether you play a sport or just watch your favorite professional team, you can build friendships with other people who share a passion for your team. Of course, playing the game is even better. You can meet new friends, develop new skills, and promote physical fitness. Exercise is also shown to promote mental health.

Playing a sport requires the use of memorization, repetition, and learning. These skillsets carry over into academic learning. The important life skills of developing determination and setting goals are also learned through sports. When you’re playing a sport, you’re exercising, which is a proven way to alleviate stress.

Arts

Painting, sculpting, writing, photography, and other arts are great ways to express your emotions through an outlet that also can give you a sense of personal achievement when the product is finished. Whether you keep the artwork for yourself or share it with friends, the act of creating it relieves stress and promotes creativity.

Like sports, arts teach you to practice something until you master it. You can also meet new friends through groups, workshops, and galleries. For some people, art is the only way they can fully express themselves or deal with their emotions, whether it’s through painting, sculpting, or writing a song or poem. For this reason, art therapy is often used when treating addiction.

Music

Listening to music is relaxing. It can have a strong effect on your mood, thinking, and physiology. Creating music is also beneficial. A study found that playing a musical instrument as a child keeps your mind sharper as you age. Even if the first time you pick up an instrument is in your adult years, there are benefits.

Playing an instrument can engage your mind and attention, taking your mind off of stressors in your life and giving you a way to express yourself. It can lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate, reduce stress, and lessen anxiety and depression. Music may also enhance your immunological response, which helps fight off illnesses. Therapists use music to foster memory and a sense of self as part of the treatment of dementia.

Even though you may feel like your schedule is booked, there are ways to incorporate hobbies into your life. Make your hobby a priority. Give up some screen time or leave the office a little earlier. A break from everyday realities is a necessity in life. Hobbies can protect you from feeling run down and overworked. Whether you paint, play violin, bake cookies, play tennis, or shoot photos of nature, your mind and body will benefit.