Knitting scarves for family and friends, no matter how hideous they may look, could keep your stress levels down.
Who knew that what you do in your free time could possibly affect physical, mental and emotional health? For a serial hard worker attempting to make ends meet, it may seem somewhat unproductive to sit around making jewellery when you should be making dinner for the week to cut the costs of eating out.
Instead of taking time out to grow flowers because of your new found love of gardening, you feel as if you should be doing something more productive, unless of course you could plant a money tree.
Research indicates that having a regular pastime may be more important to people who lead very full and busy lives. What we do outside of work can often attribute to our success at work. Finding time for ourselves is the key to our own sanity. A hobby is a pursuit outside of ones regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.
It is not something you “have to do,” but rather something “you want to do” – because you love to do it. The ideal pastime would be one that serves three purposes: a diversion (escape from daily life), a passion (engage in something you love) and a creation of a sense of purpose.
Having a hobby may lead to more than just having fun. The physical and mental health benefits of having a regular pastime should not be underestimated. Hobbies bring stabilization and harmony to the body, counter-balancing stress.
If we can get hobbies that involve physical and mental stimulation, the health benefits are even greater. Not only is it good for your body; physical activity releases endorphins, which boosts mood as well. Hobbies that engage the mind will keep you sharp as you age. Hobbies provide a source of “eustress”, the healthy kind of stress that we all need to feel excited about life. If the rest of your life is uninspiring, a hobby can provide meaning and fun, breaking up a boring schedule and providing just the right amount of challenge.
This is an outlet to restore an overall balance in every sense. Ever looked up from a book and found yourself surprised at how much time has passed? That’s the “flow state”. Pick a hobby to encourage this; play the guitar, read or make time to listen to your favourite tracks. Regular pastimes will boost your creativity, present social opportunities and boost your confidence.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a wise and true proverb. There is no downside to having a pastime. Everyone deserves to take a few hours out of their busy week to do something they love. Try something new. The important thing is to find an activity to truly enjoy. So, whether it is crocheting, writing, cooking or exercising; find a bit of time to invest in your well-being through a hobby.
The beauty of a hobby is that you don’t actually have to be good at it; you simply have to love it.
Source: www.positivelypresent.com, about.com, madamenoire.com, jonbarron.org, www.cnn.com, www.washingtonpost.com, www.linkedsenior.com, www.businessinsider.com, www.ctpost.com