No matter what your actual hobby is, whether it’s your fantasy football league, playing an instrument, or being in a sports league, you may think it’s just something you enjoy doing. Hobbies are more than that, however. Hobbies have some very real benefits in our lives, and they’re important.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to think about having a hobby in your life is that they are a positive mechanism to cope with stress. When you have a difficult day, it’s better to do something you enjoy as compared to maybe turning to a less healthy coping mechanism like alcohol or eating.
You can also remember, through coping with your stress, that you are a multi-faceted person with many elements to your life.
For example, if your stress comes from your work environment when you have a hobby, you can remind yourself that you are more than your career. That’s one part of your life, but so are the many other things that make it enriching.
Having a hobby can bring about a sense of mindfulness when you might otherwise feel like you were spiraling with stress or anxiety.
If you don’t already have a hobby, you might find that your career becomes your entire identity, and you don’t know who you are outside of it.
We all need structure in how we spend our time. Structure doesn’t just have to include the things we have to do. It can also include the things we enjoy doing. For example, if you don’t have a hobby and have unfilled periods, you might fill them with more work instead of taking time to unplug.
When you have hobbies, you can actually become more efficient but in ways outside of your work. You realize there is something else you want to add to your day later, so you can get your must-dos out of the way more quickly.
Hobbies can be a great way to meet other people, whether virtually or in real life. You can come together because you share similar interests, which is already a good starting point for new friendships and social connections.
For example, to go back to the Fantasy Football example—this hobby forces you to come together with other people as you build your leagues and compete against one another.
If you’re someone who spends a lot of time alone or works remotely, you need a social outlet. It’s part of being a thriving, well-rounded person, but modern life doesn’t always provide the opportunity for social connections.
If there isn’t a group in your local area for people that engage in the same hobby as you, you can always start one.
When you have a hobby that you enjoy doing and feel good at, it can improve your sense of self. Hobbies can raise your confidence and self-esteem and improve your overall quality of life.
You’re achieving and accomplishing something every time you participate in your hobby.
When you feel more accomplished, and your self-esteem is higher, it can promote better overall mental health and reduce the likelihood of depression.
Break Out of Your Routines
Without a hobby, your life becomes one requirement after another.
It’s easy to slip into periods of monotony and not feel much satisfaction with anything you’re doing. When you have a hobby, it helps you break some of the routines of only doing what you have to or only doing for other people.
This can then spark a new sense of creativity or revitalize and refresh your energy levels so you can give your all to other parts of your life.
Be More Interesting
When you’re a well-rounded person with your own interests, you become more interesting. It’s important to be the kind of person who has many different interests and passions, as well as an enduring sense of curiosity.
You’re going to be someone that other people want to be around when you have things you can talk about and stories to tell. Finally, having a hobby will create benefits that then become part of every other aspect of your life. When you’re engaging your brain or putting your attention toward a hobby, it can help you get into a flow state. That flow state can then translate to more innovative thinking and productivity when you’re at work or better relationships with the important people in your life.