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5 Reasons Why to Take Up a Hobby

There are so many reasons why taking up a hobby is a good idea. Hobbies can be good for your mind, body health and general well-being. A 'hobby' is defined as "An activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.

Hobbies are generally understood as interests or passions that you do in your spare time and don't get paid for. Although hobbies are typically repeated on a regular basis and may not be enjoyable at every single stage, with tenacity and gumption a sense of fulfilment can be developed over time.

Here we'll discuss five main benefits to taking up a hobby.

  1. Creative Outlet

    Pursuing a creative hobby is a practical way to fulfil the need for creative outlet. Oxford defines 'creativity' as "the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness." So even if you don't think of yourself as a creative person, if you think up, make or do anything that you haven't seen done before, you are being creative. Even a mash up of different ideas you have seen before is creative or 'innovative', because the mash up is new. Furthermore, studies have shown that engaging in creative hobbies has health benefits including increasing positive emotions / decreasing depression, reducing stress, improving the immune system and delaying cognitive decline in ageing individuals. There have also been studies that show how creativity can increase productivity. 
    So there. Get creative, obviously it's going to be good for you!

  2. Social Value

    Hobbies are also a great way to improve relationships when pursued together with a friend, family member or loved one. Whether you are looking to meet new people, or already have similar interests with someone you know, taking up a hobby is a sure way to connect with other people. Humans are social beings and pursuing an interest together can provide a sense of inclusion and relatedness. Our need to belong influences our behaviour and motivation because people need personal connections to feel accepted and supported. In this day and age, there are countless communities for discussing and practising any hobby imaginable. Participating in a community as such can help you to feel like you are part of a whole, something greater than yourself. There we go, fulfilment achieved!

  3. Stay Happy and Avoid Depression

    You are in control of your well-being and mental health. Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Whether your hobby is creative, physical/athletic or cognitive, getting out of the house or doing something that requires your focus will improve your chemistry and physiology. Making the decision to do the hobby and following through shows yourself that you are in control of your life and how you spend your time; it is sending a positive message to yourself that you are capable and have value. Seeing as your choice of hobby is based on what you may be interested in, or what you enjoy, it's a given that the hobby will be engaging and fun for you, in turn keeping you happy. Isn't happiness what most of us want in life? Why wouldn't you have a hobby?

  4. The Outcome of the Hobby Itself

    A significant reason to take up a hobby would also of course be the results the hobby itself produces. For example, the cake for someone who's hobby is to bake, the program for the programmer or the soap for the soap-maker. It's true that not all hobbies actually produce tangible results - like learning to play the guitar - however, acquiring the skill still results in you having that ability to use it in future events whenever you like (such as pulling out the guitar while camping). As there are so many different hobbies with so many different outcomes, you can start by identifying what you would like to have, or to have more of in your life. Do you need to have more prepared meals? Maybe you could take up cooking. Would you like to spend more time outdoors? Maybe you could take up gardening. Check out this link for a list of productive hobbies with positive outcomes that will improve your life. 

  5. Personal Development

    Last but certainly not least, personal development is a genuine reason to take up a hobby because humans have a natural craving for progress. 
    Studies have shown that monitoring your progress toward goals increases your chance of success. We are human and can't help being motivated by success, achievement and progression. Taking up a hobby will be rewarding and fulfilling if the reason is for personal development, or improving yourself as a person. Furthermore, research has shown that if you have chosen the hobby yourself (autonomously), you are more likely to progress at your goals. Many people even develop careers from their hobbies. Some of our most respected multi-million dollar organisations began as just a side-project or hobby including eBay, Amazon and Facebook. Practicing a hobby is an evident way to advance your professional and personal development. Want to be a better person? Take up a hobby!

So pretty much hobbies are awesome. They can stimulate your creativity, which can in turn improve your health and they can provide social value to help improve your relationships with people. Not only that but hobbies help you stay happy and avoid depression. The outcome of the hobby itself is almost always beneficial and taking up a hobby is an easy way to expand your personal development and improve your life.

So what, is your new hobby reading blogs? Go get hobbying!

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Written by Holly Best, February, 2020.

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