IMPORTANCE OF HOBBIES
Hobby is something that one likes to do in one’s spare time. The Oxford Dictionary defines hobby as a favourite activity that a person does for pleasure and not as his or her regular business. In short, hobby is one’s favourite pastime.
Hobby is not an inborn inclination. It is developed through a constant and systematic process. A hobby is not pursued to make a profit. The main purpose of a hobby is to derive pleasure out of it. It gives us mental and physical relaxation. One makes the best use of one’s spare time by pursuing a hobby.
While making a choice out of many ways of speeding our time, we ought to ensure that it restores our lost energy and cheers us up. There are a good number of hobbies. The hobby that fits our interest, nature and our budget would be the best.
R.I. Stevenson, a writer of the nineteenth century, in his essay ‘An apology for Idlers’ condemned over-work and over-business. He recommended his readers to find time to go to a park and relax, enjoy tea, speak to passersby, play a musical instrument, to bask in the winter sun, to meditate – in short to do anything that is not called ‘work’. Bertrand Russell also condemned silly and over-work of modern times. He believed in recreation and relaxation.
Each one of us should choose a worthwhile hobby that gives us change and joy. At times, our hobbies become our profitable vocation.
Importance of Hobbies for Stress Relief
Hobbies are often thought of as activities for people who lead quiet, relaxed lives. However, people with full, busy, even stressful lives may need hobbies more than the average person and benefit greatly from having hobbies in their lives. Hobbies bring many benefits that usually make them more than worth the time they require. Here are some of the advantages of having hobbies.
Take a Break: Hobbies provide a slice of work-free and responsibility-free time in your schedule. This can be especially welcome for people who feel overwhelmed by all that they have to do, and need to recharge their batteries by doing something they enjoy. For those who feel overwhelmed by responsibility, it may be difficult to find the time or give themselves permission to take a break from a busy schedule and just sit and relax. Engaging in hobbies, however, can provide a break with a purpose, which can help people feel that they are not just ‘sitting around’, but are using their down time for something productive. Either way, hobbies provide a nice break in a busy week.
Eustress: For those who are not overly stressed and may actually be under-stimulated, hobbies provide a nice source of eustress, the healthy kind of stress that we all need to remain feeling excited about life. If the rest of your life is somewhat dull or uninspiring, hobbies can provide meaning and firm, and can break up a boring schedule, without feeling like work. In other words, hobbies can provide just the right amount of challenge.
Social Outlet: Many hobbies lend themselves to group activities: golfing rotations, knitting circles and creative writing groups are good examples. Hobbies that connect you with others can bring the added benefit of social support, which can bring stress relief and meaning to life in a fun way. The friends you have fun with can become some of your best friends, so hobbies that bring you closer with others are well worth your time.
Pleasures: Positive psychology, a relatively new branch of psychology that studies what makes life worthwhile, has discovered that pleasures—activities that bring fun to life—can be wonderful for relaxation and enjoyment of the moment. Pleasures can bring a lift to your mood. Because hobbies generally incorporate pleasures into your life, maintaining hobbies can be good for your overall sense of joy in life.
The Exciting World and Benefits of Hobbies
The pursuit of hobby is an excellent way of spending one’s leisure time. Hobby may be described as a regular activity of interest pursuit for its own intrinsic value and not for any remuneration. Even then some hobbies may enable moderate monetary gain. It is also commonly seen that one man’s hobby may turn out to be another man’s profession. Based on personality and mental make-up, interest, temperament, educational level and life style of different individuals, different people choose different types of hobbies.
Some common hobbies are gardening, bird-watching, collecting stamps (philately), collecting coins (numismatics), collecting autograph, etc. There are also a few competitive hobbies such as tennis, bowling, golf, athletics, etc
Educational Value of a Hobby
Having a hobby is highly educative. Education is virtually synonymous with training. Pursuing various hobbies is a sort of training in various activities of one’s choice and those hobbies could broaden one’s outlook and perspectives. A lot of experiences, skills and knowledge could be gained by pursuing a hobby.
The educative value of watching movies cannot be underestimated. Cultural values, modes and norms of a particular society could be effectively imparted through films. Films are also important medium for transmitting history, geographical information and marvelous scientific discoveries and inventions.
Hobby Gives Relaxation
Hobby gives relaxing diversion from intense workdays. Hobby gives relaxation and relief from stress caused by daily routine work conditions. It is a great time for ‘cooling off the mind from the troubles and pressures of daily personal and official works. Indeed, hobby gives the mind a break from the thought processes of daily hassles. For example, gardening provides not only diversion; it is also a physical exercise, which acts as a stress buffer.
Hobby Provides Companionship
Pursuing a hobby gives a chance to meet and make friends with other people of similar interests. In spite of increasing proliferation of information technology and its uses for social purposes, there is no substitute for human companionship. There is nothing like spending leisure time with other like-minded people.
Companionship gives health benefit by way of relieving from stress and worry and providing opportunities for healthy social interactions and activities. Staying connected with people of similar interest groups is helpful in preventing isolation and loneliness.
Choose Your Own Hobbies
Hobbies are generally an activity that you undertake because of the joy it brings to you. Of course, many people have discovered the joy that also comes with a hobby that earns you a living. Whether it is fall time, part time or not at all, you must decide which one suits you most. Just make sure you make the correct choice that fits your lifestyle and personal preference and time frame.
Hobby for Friendship
Learning a new hobby is indeed a wonderful experience. As you progress you will be living in a new world and learning new skills. You will begin to discover your hidden talents that you were not aware of. You will start reading more about your hobby, meeting other hobbyists with similar interests, exchanging views and building a circle of friends both near and far. This will be more so if you take up to playing games like cricket, golf, basketball or tennis where you will get the opportunity to meet others on a regular basis and great relationships.
Hobby for Good Exercise
Hobbies keep the mind active and creative, which is a good exercise for the brain. Mental exercise is as important as physical exercise. Research shows that people who are more successful in life (be it in terms of wealth, health, fame or anything else) are ones who also maintain some hobby.
Benefits of having a Hobby
Pursuing your chosen pastime can broaden your social life as there are usually clubs and associations close by that hold regular meetings where people who share a common interest can gather to swap tips and stories and talk to their heart’s content about their passion.
Hobbies are encouraged by mental health professionals as a way to help people reduce their stress levels. When your mind is fully engaged in your hobby, the trials and tribulations of life in our fast-paced society have to take a backseat for a while. By the time you return to your life, all those problems and challenges do not seem quite so overwhelming and you find that you can handle them more effectively.
Let us not forget the sense of competence and accomplishment that hobbies can provide. We have all had days when it seems like nothing is going your way. Your boss has just torn a strip off you for missing a crucial deadline, your partner is annoyed with you because you forgot what special day it is, even your dog seems miffed at you. The stress is rising and you feel like a total failure. So, when you finally get home, you lock yourself away and work on your pet project for a time. Despite all else that went wrong that day, you know you can do this and do it well. By the time you emerge from your cocoon, you feel calm and capable again. You resolve to be more careful at work, to make it up to your other half and to spend more time with pleasure.
If your hobby involves creating something, there is also the satisfaction of making something special for someone special. A hand-made gift says to the recipient, in no too uncertain terms, that you care. You cared enough to take the time and make the effort to create something truly unique for them and them alone. That gesture says more than any expensive, store-bought ever could.
Painting, sculpting and photography are just a few of the myriad options available to you. Do some research or, better yet, get stuck in. Try different introductory courses until you find what suits you.
Hobbies aren’t limited to the cerebral or the creative. Do you enjoy action, adventure? Want to get the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing? Extreme sports would probably suit you down to the ground.
Nor are hobbies solitary pursuits. Dancing is one example of a shared pastime. In a world where it seems like everything and everyone demands so much of your time, it can feel like you have no time for each other. Dancing is an ideal way to stay connected to your other half. Not to mention the health benefits. All that quick-stepping and twirling are sure to burn off a few calories and help keep you in tip-top shape.
Posted By Beth on Feb 26, 2014 |
When we’re young, there’s lots of opportunity for developing and pursuing built-in hobbies. Our parents sign us up for swimming lessons or soccer practice. Our best friend in middle school goes to science camp one summer so we sign up, too. Our junior year of high school the choir teacher gives extra credit for those who attend a musical each semester. In college we can’t walk five feet through the courtyard in our dorm or the inside of the union without bumping into a table advertising volunteer opportunities with a political party or the Homecoming planning committee. When we leave these fairly insulated bubbles and begin working full-time, then get married, perhaps have children, the opportunities (or even reminders?) to pursue hobbies are virtually gone.
But it’s still so important to make time for hobbies and interests. It’s easy to work all day, come home and plant yourself in front of the TV. I get it, and I’ve been there. But I’ve also found that nurturing my interests and even making goals for the things I do in my spare time has been really rewarding. Much more so than losing two hours to Sex and the City reruns or a reality TV marathon (though there’s a time and place for that, too).
Here are my top 8 Reasons Why Hobbies are Important:
- You can meet people. Moving to a new city? Newly single? Pursue a hobby that requires you to come into contact with other people: team sports, a sewing class at a local fabric store, pottery making through community education.
- Hobbies build self-esteem. If you dislike your job or your unhappy in your relationship or you simply feel like you’ve lost your way in life, developing a hobby can be a way to build yourself back up. Maybe you take up knitting or playing the piano and the small improvements you make week to week are enough to sustain you while you try to figure out the rest of your life. Sometimes hobbies give you one solid thing to feel good about.
- They’re a way to relieve stress. This is sort of related to Reason #2, but many hobbies provide stress relief simply because they’re an oasis from the rest of your life. You can forget about a bad meeting at work or a fight you had with your mother while you sing in your church choir or train for a 10k.
- Hobbies make you interesting. At a party, you can only talk about being an investment banker for so long before people’s eyes begin to glaze. But mention that you’ve traveled to 10 countries in South and Central America, and that you have an upcoming trip to Peru planned, and people want to hear more.
- Hobbies are a point of connection with other people. What you do for a living or where you’re from may give you common ground with a small, select portion of the population. But if you like gardening? Bowling? Rescuing neglected dogs? These are hobbies shared across a wide range of race, age, gender and economic groups.
- You can avoid boredom. I have zero scientific evidence of this but I really believe that boredom is responsible for a lot of society’s ills and people’s destructive behaviors. How many people come home and drink 4 or 5 beers every night simply because it’s something to do while they watch TV? What if 1 or 2 of those nights they were at a class learning to make stained glass or canning the produce from their garden instead?
- They keep you youthful. Maybe this isn’t on your mind yet, but establishing hobbies now (even if they change over the years) is a really healthy habit to form for your later years. The happiest seniors are the ones who lead active lifestyles and have social outlets. If you hit retirement and have never pursued interests outside of work, you may find yourself lost and struggling to fill your time with meaningful activities.
- Hobbies enrich your perspective. Remember that old public service announcement: “The more you know, the more you grow”? Yes, I’m channeling the late 80s here. Any opportunity to learn something new, to be challenged anew, is great for character-building and seeing the world through refreshed eyes.
What hobbies do you find rewarding? What hobbies do you want to pursue but haven’t gotten around to yet?
Featured photo credit.