Hobbies brought a smile to your face when you were a child, and they’ll undoubtedly bring a smile to your face now!
As we grow older, we usually forget how life was like before deadlines, family responsibilities, and the anxiety and stress that seem to never leave our sides. You know, the typical things all adults deal with. Instead of spending weekends engrossed in our favorite hobbies, books within reach or paintbrush in hand, we find ourselves preparing for the following week, either by sleeping off the last one or working in hopes of making the new one a little easier. Any free time we do manage to get our hands on is usually wasted away in front of the television. And while that is completely fine, sometimes you just feel like you can’t look at screens anymore. And that’s where hobbies come in.
Why Are Hobbies Important?
Hobbies come in all shapes and forms. Some enjoy cooking, even if they end up creating some highly questionable meals. Others would much rather crush their opponent during a video game battle. While both activities are quite different, they achieve the same effect on those participating. At the end of the day, when you spend time doing an activity you love, you find yourself feeling relaxed, the day’s stress vanishing from your body and mind. That is one of the more obvious benefits of having hobbies. Unfortunately, many assume that that is the only reason why hobbies are important. I’m here to let you know they couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Hobbies can also teach you to become more patient. This is because when you discover a new hobby, you have to learn how to do something that is more often than not brand new to you. And despite how much we might want to, you can’t just go to bed and wake up with a new skill mastered. Instead, there will be a learning curve, one full of ups and downs, and the only way you’ll get to the other side and become an expert is by being patient with yourself. And when you live in a fast-paced world like ours, learning patience can be valuable.
Furthermore, hobbies can help increase your confidence and self-esteem. As you explore different hobbies, you accumulate knowledge about each activity enriching your brain. Additionally, as you become more skillful at a particular hobby, excelling at a specific sport or craft, your self-confidence will skyrocket. I mean, who wouldn’t like being good at something they love? Not only will this increased confidence and self-esteem help you grow, but they can also significantly impact other aspects of your life as you learn to trust yourself and your decisions.
Moreover, one cannot discuss hobbies and their importance without mentioning how they can affect our social life. Driving you to connect with other individuals who enjoy the same activities, and hobbies can force you out of your comfort zone and into a group of supportive friends. These new friends help you create a life outside work or family. They can also introduce you to new ideas and perspectives, encouraging you to look at the world differently.
And now comes the exciting part; the part where you get to explore different hobbies, perhaps some old and some new, to find out what activities truly make you happy. Here are some tips on how to do so.
Examine What You Already Enjoy
I know it seems weird having the words ’examine’ and ‘enjoy’ so close to each other, but trust me, this step can be very fun. Take a look at the activities you do whenever you have some free time and try to transform them into hobbies. For instance, if you love eating, why not try attending a cooking course? If you discover that your go-to activity on the weekends is watching movies, maybe consider learning about the craft of filmmaking or just give editing a shot using any footage you filmed on your phone.
Moreover, while living in the past isn’t generally a good habit, try taking a trip down memory lane and reminiscing about all of your old hobbies. You might learn that your love for some activities never died out.
Identify What You Want to Achieve Out of Your Hobby
Because different hobbies can have a variety of impacts on the people partaking in them, try to understand why exactly you want to learn a particular new hobby. For instance, if you have a stressful job, you might want a relaxing activity that’ll take your mind off of work for a bit. Maybe you could give reading a try and get transported into a novel’s world. If you want to move more, that office chair imprisoning you all day at work, then maybe you could give walking a try as you listen to some calming music or a comedy podcast. If you want a creative outlet, perhaps buy a notebook and try writing. After all, a great short story could be waiting for you on those pages.
By understanding what you want to achieve out of your new hobby or any hobby, you’ll be able to waste less time exploring every activity out there, and more time enjoying ones that stimulate you.
Try, Try, and Then Try Some More
While the point above might help narrow down a list of potential hobbies, try everything out. It can seem scary at first, especially if the activity is entirely new to you or involves meeting new people in new environments. However, getting out of your comfort zone might very well be why you discover the activity you’ve never imagined you’d enjoy. And if that doesn’t happen, which might often be the case, you’ll still get a great story out of the experience. Trial and error might have been why you passed all those math exams (definitely not talking from personal experience), and it can still help you now.
There is an enormous number of hobbies one can choose from, and at times that can feel overwhelming as you don’t know where to start or what to try first. Take it easy and understand that without some failed attempts, you’ll never be able to find what hobbies are perfect for you. And remember, you don’t necessarily have to be good at an activity for it to be your hobby. Dance out of beat or spend hours drawing stick figures. The most important thing is that whatever you are doing it brings a smile to your face.
Photo: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock
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