Hobbies aren’t merely fun and games. Research shows that having a healthy mind and outlook are directly linked to the satisfaction of healthy labors of love. Whether it’s discussing favorite books or podcasts or upcycling old dishes, having a go-to pastime has a way of benefiting your health, friendships, and even your career. Need a nudge to get something started? Here are five great reasons to find an activity that brings you joy:
- Declutter your mind. Hobbies keep you in the moment, taking your mind away from daily stressors. While not all hobbies offer the same level of sustained focus or mental engagement, genuine interests foster mindfulness and present-moment awareness.
- Nourish the brain. Hobbies can provide an outlet to carve out time for yourself. They can also challenge you to work the mind. Hobbies that involve reading, writing, creating, or learning (such as a new language) instill a sense of purpose while keeping your mind sharp.
- Enhance your physical health. Hobbies that get your heart pumping are a great way to stay in shape. Regular gardening, hiking, dancing, yoga, sports, or gym-like workouts keep us fit for life. When your hobby is also exercise, experts say it builds confidence, increases energy levels, and (of course) improves your physical health.
- Boost your career. Hobbies are one of the best ways to demonstrate individuality and leadership in our professional lives. Some hobbies can bring added income or parlay a current career path toward something new. If you love public speaking, organizing, or writing, let it shine. Unleashing passions at work—while setting yourself apart—can also be gratifying and rewarding.
- Explore for the fun of it. Hobbies can come and go; they can even return after a long hiatus. If you’re unsure about pursuing something new, try whatever you think you might enjoy. There’s no downside to diving in. Whether it’s cooking, scrapbooking, car repair, singing, or memorabilia-collecting, there’s no harm in finding out if it brings you joy.
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