Can having hobbies improve your wellbeing?
Studies have proven that having hobbies can be beneficial to our wellbeing. Keeping ourselves busy with things we find enjoyable can positively benefit our physical and mental health.
One of the studies found that people had a lower heart rate, felt less stressed, less bored and more positive whilst engaged in a hobby. There has also been some suggestion that having hobbies can significantly lower your risk of dementia.
Getting involved in hobbies that can be done in a group such as a class or a team can help with social isolation, providing opportunities for connecting with others whilst learning a new skill. Usually, hobbies enable us to have fun which is a stress reliever and will often give us a sense of achievement too.
How do you find the right hobby?
Think about things that you may have previously enjoyed – perhaps as a child you participated in a certain sport or have good memories of doing a craft activity like learning to knit or paint.
If you find you try something and don’t enjoy it as much as you thought you might, stop and try something else.
Of course, there is no need to restrict ourselves to just one hobby – try and find a mixture of things that fulfil you mentally, socially and physically.
Hobbies to improve physical health – Any type of exercise can have benefits for physical health – find something that you enjoy - try dancing, playing a team sport, gardening or going for a walk.
Hobbies to de-stress – Hiking, birdwatching or just a walk in nature is a great way to relax. Listening to or playing music, mindfulness and yoga are other activities that can help us to unwind.
Good for mental health – learn to play an instrument, learn a language – these are things that can be done alone and in your own time – or join a class and learn with others. Singing in a choir, for example, is something that is both enjoyable, good for cognitive function and sociable. Reading is a wonderfully relaxing hobby that can be done virtually anywhere and anytime.
Disclaimer: The content of this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. References available on request.