I remember the day I came to the realisation I didn’t have any actual hobbies. It was during a disagreement with an ex around the subject of time together on a Saturday. Every Saturday he would spend it playing football, watching football, learning to play his guitar, or playing badminton. I brought up the subject of how maybe some Saturdays he could spend them not doing these things. This is when I was told “I wouldn’t understand because I didn’t have any Hobbies.”
Taken aback I replied of course with…” Errrr,.. yes I do, I have plenty.” ( Shopping for an outfit and going out drinking was a hobby right ?! ) Which furiously took me to my phone to tell the girls, and seek reassurance from them by asking what their hobbies were.
A hobby Is a pretty broad term, people define it differently, but I suppose to me a hobby should be an activity that we enjoy, that you do for leisure, in your spare time. And something you can learn and grow from. I suppose then I didn’t have any real hobbies. I mean finding the perfect outfit for the weekend, then drinking till 2 am took some serious skill, but I wasn’t learning or growing from it.
So fast forward three years and I would definitely say I have more of a range of hobbies. Writing and starting this blog a few months ago being one. But maybe I still don’t have many, considering all of the amazing things we now have around us ready to learn and try out, ( rather than just absorbing into Netflix). Don’t get me wrong, watching a TV series on Netflix is a hobby in it’s own right, and one of my favourite past times, but it’s not one we would put on a CV.
I remember always thinking my ex was a pretty happy go lucky person, he enjoyed his Saturdays learning new chords on the guitar, and passionately shouting at the football. His hobbies seemed to make him happy. Which led me on to think maybe having a hobby can make you a happier person, and here are some reasons why.
1) They de- stress you
Us humans work/study hard, some of us putting in a hefty 52 hours a week. To have something we do regularly, to take our mind off of the things we ‘have to do,’ is the ideal release from working life. People don’t tend to choose hobbies that make them angry. Painting, writing, swimming, are all activities that relax the mind. Hobbies are like mediation they keep you present and both things lead to a more content mind.
2) They give you a sense of achievement
Learning a new language, playing a new song on a musical instrument, or completing your first painting, must give you a real glow inside. They give you a sense of reward, help you grow, and therefore boost your confidence which can only lead to feeling happier.
3) You meet new people or connect with like minded friends
My friend told me that his biggest reason for enjoying golf ,is it facilitates him getting together with other people who also share a love for the sport. The social aspect of playing a sport and having fun with others, always leaves you with a feel good feeling after.
4) You get to show case your talents
If your hobby includes something you excel at, i.e drawing, singing, cooking, playing a sport, it’s a chance to show case your talents. Either through social media, during a game, performing for loved ones or just impressing yourself. It feels good to practice and excel at something.
5) It can help your mental health
Dopamine and Oxytocin are just two hormones that are released when we are doing an activity we like, which are associated with reward and satisfaction. Having a creative outlet can give you some joy and the more time spent away from thinking about work, or doing work at home the better ( common sense. ) When your alarm goes off to get up for work the majority of us want to press snooze, if it went off to start a hobby we love, I’m sure we would not feel the same. Immersing yourself in a hobby is a great path back to happiness.
So there you have it, I think having a hobby or two could make us all feel that little bit less stressed and happier. So try and find something you enjoy, dig out an old hobby or start a new one. I’m off to try my hand at some painting with water colours ( and pretend I know what I’m doing ) ……….wish me luck.
Happy Hobby-ing XOXO