Try It, You Might Like It: Benefits of Having a Hobby

by | January 28, 2015

For the busy entrepreneur or the harried stay at home mom, a hobby may seem like something that takes up time and energy for no greater purpose. Who has time to fiddle with an instrument or the space to keep an old car around for restoring? Why sew blankets and quilts that will only be thrown into the already neverending laundry pile?

The answer lies in the problem. For people who are incredibly busy and who are always moving to the next thing on the list, a hobby provides a much needed break for the mind and body. It is also an activity done simply for pleasure – which can be refreshing to the heart and soul.

Seek Out Simple Joy

Look for an activity that you find enjoyable. (Bonus if it employs the use of your mind and your hands!)

  • Creative arts are a good place to start; writing, painting, sewing, and pottery are all common hobbies whose supplies are easy to come across. Even reading can be a hobby as long as the reading material isn’t work related.
  • Physical hobbies are sometimes more attractive to people who spend a lot of time at a desk, or who find relaxation in exercise. Consider dog walking, running, horseback riding, or team sports like tennis or basketball for the more socially-inclined. The additional benefits of exercise extend into your work life too!
  • Some hobbies that seem intimidating just require a sense of adventure. Rock-climbing is extremely safe and can be learned in very controlled environments like climbing gyms with dedicated staff. Photography and yoga might seem like they require high levels of concentration and skill, but the best attribute is actually patience and repetition.

Prepare Yourself For A Challenge

Some of the best hobbies are ones that are completely outside your existing realm of experience. For an IT specialist who solves software issues all day long, getting his hands in the dirt to grow vegetables is as foreign as it gets. But it is that aspect of “this is different, this is new, this uses my body and my mind in a new way” that makes hobbies so rewarding.

For individuals who work in quiet environments, it could be beneficial to join a group with your new hobby: consider a book club or a community sports team. Use the hobby to widen your world and be open to new relationships with different people.

Physically, mentally, or socially, a new hobby probably lies outside of your comfort zone. But in the words of Fred DeVito, “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

Excelling At A Hobby Is A Different Kind Of Success

It is important to bear in mind that the purpose of a hobby is not to be the best at it – it is to enjoy doing it. The escape of swirling a paintbrush on a canvas will be lost if the focus is on producing a piece of art worthy of the Louvre. In this one aspect of life – do not worry about deadlines or end results.

Allow yourself to be present in the moment. Taking a lump of clay and producing it into something that looks or feels interesting to you requires that your focus be on your hands and the craft, and nothing else. This focus can actually be freeing if it gets your mind away from things that are worrying you or distracting you from the now.

The additional benefit is that you come back to those issues fresh from your break, and more prepared to deal with them appropriately.

If you’re ready to venture into the land of hobbydom and reap the benefits of spending time enjoying yourself, you may find these “45 Manly Hobbies” interesting, or find inspiration in these “7 Lesser-Known Hobbies for the Bored and Adventurous”.