Hobbies Can Deliver Health Benefits While Providing Enjoyment

My husband has always enjoyed his hobbies. When I met him, there was the model airplane phase, followed by the micro-brewing stint in his closet. In our early marriage, he played roller hockey weekly with guys 10 years his junior. Fly fishing came a little later and offered the dual pleasure of spending time in majestic places and carefully studying the art of tying his own flies, a gift he is passing on to our boys.

And while I’ve teased him over the years about his many interests, I’ve always been a little envious of his ability to “shut down” the robotic treadmill of daily life. According to the book Psychological Benefits of Leisure Participation by Howard E.A. Tinsley, “Participating in leisure activities contributes to your physical and mental health and overall life satisfaction. You’re healthier, happier and more cheerful. You enjoy life more.” Tinsley’s observations are based on 15 years of research and more than 4,000 interviews. 

Hobbies relieve stress, develop confidence and can help you forge new social relationships. So, reject the mindset that you simply don’t have time for a hobby. Challenge yourself to pick back up an old favorite or pursue a new passion. You’ll be glad you did.  

Number one:

Commit to carving out time for a hobby. Start slowly so you don’t become overwhelmed. A weekly commitment is a good idea. Now put it on the calendar, and stick to it! 

Number two:

Choose a hobby that will bring you joy, relaxation or confidence. It may be picking up an old favorite or trying something completely new, but weigh the benefits of what you hope to gain.

Number three:

Consider branching out into new social circles. Even if your hobby is a solitary pursuit, there are often local enthusiasts or groups to meet up with.