When you are not working, what do you like to do? Or, if you don’t work or are retired, what activities do you find enjoyment in doing? Could be things as simple as collecting coins, drawing, writing, or even photography. These things are hobbies in that they offer you a break from your regular life to simply do activities that you enjoy. And, believe it or not, practicing your hobbies is actually important to your overall health, both mentally and physically.
We have found even for people who are fortunate enough to change careers to pursue a hobby and make that hobby their living, they still need another activity. This is because as your hobby changes into your career, it does become work and will induce a level of stress. And, as much as you love your hobby-career, you will still benefit from an outside activity and passion. So, why is it important to have a hobby? We have put together several benefits as to why you should practice your favorite hobby.
Benefits of a Hobby
Stress Relief – First and foremost, hobbies are a break. They are a break from work or a busy schedule full of to-dos. And, while adding a to-do of doing your hobby may seem counter-intuitive to some, most people find that focusing on something they enjoy and has a purpose makes them feel less stressed. When you focus on something that is not work related, you give your mind something else to focus on that you find to be fun and enjoyable. And, when you get into the flow of the hobby, you will find your worries and stresses fade away. As a result, your blood pressure and hypertension lowers, which is healthy for your heart.
Hobbies Help Your Physical Body – There has been research conducted that found that when you engage in enjoyable activities during your downtime it can lower your blood pressure, total cortisol as well as help reduce your body mass index. So, while eating right and exercise are great ways to keep your heart healthy, so is taking some time out and dusting off the old comic book collection.
New Challenges – Sometimes picking up a new hobby also presents you with a new challenge. When we talked about keeping your brain in shape, one of the things that does is learning new skills. So, if you always wanted to learn something new like playing a musical instrument or painting, give it a try. And, while it is a new challenge, it is a challenge that comes without the negative stress associated with a work-related challenge.
Keep You Present – When you are doing your hobby and it is something you really enjoy, you will find that the hours can flyby as you get caught up in it. This is because you can focus on the moment at hand. You are not focused on the future or dwelling on the past. As such, you will find your mental state feeling much less stressed.
Help You Connect with Others – We have said it before, humans are wired to be social. We crave relationships and friendships with other people. And, many social connections and lifelong friendships occur around hobbies. In fact, you can find clubs for a lot of hobbies be it a nature walk club, a reading club, a music club, and more.
They Improve Your Work – When you take time out from work to focus on something else that is enjoyable it helps reset your brain, so to speak. As a result, you can return to your work more focused and with added enthusiasm. Work related problems that seemed hopeless suddenly seem manageable when you take some time and focus on a hobby. So, if you work, one of the best ways to improve your on-the-job-performance is to make room for your hobbies.
How to Use This Information
Hobbies are fantastic. We do hope that you continue to do activities that you enjoy. Doing so can help promote better overall health for mind, body and soul. And, do not be afraid to try new things! And, when it comes to your overall heart health, we can help. Take a look at our classes as we offer everything from Yoga to Tai Chi. Not only will they help with your heart health, you may just discover a new and fun hobby!