You’ve probably had a hobby at one point or another in your life. But whether or not you stuck with it is another question. According to research, work commitments, busy family life, and lack of motivation are the main reasons we don’t stick with our hobbies. What’s more, lots of us splash out on hobbies, from buying cycling equipment to musical instruments, only to give them up within a short time. Studies have found that most people will stick with a hobby for just 16 months. But hobbies have many benefits and play a far more important role in our lives than we might think, and there are 5 hobbies you should have for maximum reward. So, if you find you’re not doing anything constructive with your time, it might be time to pick that hobby you’d abandoned back up.
The Benefits of Having Hobbies
Before we delve into the 5 hobbies you should have, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. What are these illustrious benefits of having a hobby anyway?
Hobbies Improve Your Mental Health
It’s well documented that the general state of people’s mental health is not good, with an increasing number of people struggling with their mental health since COVID.
Losing interest and joy in things you normally like doing is one of the symptoms of depression. This is known as anhedonia and it can be an early sign of depression and can even give an insight into how severely depressed a patient is.
Hobbies improve your physical health
If your hobbies involve physical activities then your body will also benefit since physical activity will lower your blood pressure and your heart rate.
But not only does physical activity improve your physical health, but taking part in regular physical activity is also beneficial for your mental health, and it also reduces stress.
According to an article from Harvard Medical School there is a neurochemical basis for the mental benefits of aerobic exercise.
Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins. These are chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.
With all this in mind starting a physical activity as a hobby is a no-brainer.
Hobbies Increase Creativity
According to research exercise increases creativity.
And getting out in nature also increases creativity. A 2012 study showed that hikers on a four-day backpacking trip could solve significantly more puzzles requiring creativity when compared to a control group of people waiting to take the same hike.
So if you are going to start being more active as a hobby, an outdoor activity in nature is a good choice.
Studies have also shown that being out in nature tends to increase cognitive abilities including improved productivity, improved academic performance, and less mental fatigue.
So if your goal is to be more productive, focused, and creative, walking out in nature is definitely one of the 5 hobbies you should have.
Hobbies Improve Your Relationships And Increase Your Network
Spending time apart is healthy in relationships. If you don’t share the same hobby as your partner, this is the perfect opportunity to do things separately, what’s more, according to a licensed associate marriage and family therapist
it’s more important to share core values in a relationship than it is to share hobbies.
In addition to this, hobbies are also a great way of meeting new and interesting people. So if you need to meet more people then starting a social hobby might be your answer.
This could be:
- Joining a running club
- Becoming a member of a dance group
- Taking an aerobics class
- Joining an art class
- Joining a book club
The key here is to do it as a hobby, which means attending regularly, and not just once!
Hobbies Reduce Stress
A study in Japan found that participants who walked in forests had significantly lower heart rates and higher heart rate variability (indicating more relaxation and less stress). They also reported better moods and less anxiety, than those who walked in urban settings.
The researchers took from this that there’s something about being out in nature, beyond doing physical activity, that leads to relaxation and stress reduction. ( Yet another reason to choose the great outdoors)
But even if you choose to stay inside, there are lots of other hobbies that can reduce stress.
The link between hobbies, mindfulness, and stress reduction
Mindfulness is described as:
- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
- a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
So being mindful s about being conscious, and focusing only on the present moment.
Many hobbies can help you to do this. Reading, baking, and learning any new skill are all great ways to practice mindfulness besides meditation.
Hobbies Promote Better Time Management
One of the reasons people sometimes quit their hobbies is due to a lack of time. But according to Parkinson’s Law, things will expand to the time you allow.
As an example, you might struggle to get your work finished on time and constantly find yourself working late, but when you have to be at a running club or a recital by a certain time, you make things happen.
Suddenly you know what’s a priority and what’s not and you make sure you get out of work in time.
Interestingly, have you ever noticed that your friends who seem to have tons of hobbies, never talk about not having any time?
Improved Overall Wellbeing
To summarise the benefits of having a hobby include:
- Improved mental health
- Improved physical health
- Increased creativity
- Reduced stress
- Better relationships
- Better time management
With this list, it’s clear that having a hobby improves your overall well-being.
A hobby Can Advance Your Career and Make You More Money
So far, the benefits of having a hobby have been very healthy and wellbeing focused. But let’s not overlook the potential for a hobby to enhance and even advance your career.
If your hobby is learning a new skill, that skill could lead to a career change or it could be your advantage in an interview or even when it comes to getting a promotion.
What’s more, you might even be able to turn your hobby into a side hustle or money-making venture!
Depending on the skill you learn of course.
The 5 Types of Hobbies You Should Have
A hobby for fun and creativity
I love baking. So much so that I thought I might start a baking blog, but the moment I thought this, baking seemed like a drag. You see, baking is my fun and creative hobby.
You won’t be sticking with any hobby if you find it a drag. Your hobby needs to be enjoyable in some capacity.
Since we’re often so busy trying to achieve things, many of us forget how to just have fun, and this can block our creativity. That’s why having a hobby that’s for fun and creativity is highly beneficial.
A hobby for your mental health and wellbeing
Our mind needs to be taken care of. We need to keep our stress level’s down and we need to laugh and feel good about ourselves.
The hobby for your mind is the hobby that supports your mental health.
The hobby that keeps you in shape
A hobby for your body is one of the common hobbies on the list when it comes to the 5 hobbies you should have. I’ve already shared the powerful effects of physical activity. So whether it’s a dance class, a team sport, or a nature walk, we all need a hobby that supports our physical health.
The social hobby
Another one of the 5 hobbies you should have is a social hobby. For many of us, we go out with friends, and we might push ourselves to the off networking event from time to time.
but having a hobby that promotes interaction with others is a great way to meet new people and expand your network, without feeling like you’re “networking”
A hobby for personal growth and development
If you’re reading this then you probably already have a hobby for personal growth. This could be reading personal development books, learning a new language, learning to program, improving your memory, the list is endless.
Whatever you choose to do, a hobby that supports your personal growth and development is an important hobby to have.
A hobby that makes you money
Finally, a list of the 5 types of hobbies you should have wouldn’t make sense without the hobby that can make you money. Some hobbies are highly monetizable. Examples of hobbies that can make you money include:
- Art and Design
- Blogging [Related: How To Start A WordPress Blog Using Bluehost]
- Video Editing
There you have it, the 5 types of hobbies you should have. Do you have a hobby in each of these categories? And what’s the longest you’ve managed to keep up with a hobby?