When asked “what are your hobbies?”, how do you answer? Those of us who have hobbies enjoy the time we spend on them, but did you know that there are scientific reasons why having a hobby is good for our health?
When immersed in creative hobbies we are actually in a phase of experimentation which expand the neural networks in the brain, connecting circuits which may otherwise have been overlooked. This increases the flow of the feel-good hormone, dopamine, which enhances mood. Getting into the flow of a creative hobby is akin to mindfulness, totally into the present moment, which helps to greatly alleviate stress and anxiety.
Hobbies are great for relieving loneliness as we find groups to join, sharing a common bond, pooling knowledge, enjoying company and finding social support. Research has shown that leisurely hobbies can result in lower blood pressure, help with depression, and negative thoughts.
Research also shows that hobbies improve both physical and mental health, regardless of what that hobby is. Absorbing yourself in a hobby for an hour or so at a time is your gift to you.
Both Gill and I have hobbies; Gill has taken up candle making and I’ve been crocheting for years. During the Covid Lockdown we have stepped it up a bit and now we both enjoy being totally creative and stress-free. The icing on the cake of course is that we are able to sell and gift our creations. If you want to see more of what we’re doing, take a look at Little Lanterns and Rainbow Crochet.
So if you already have a hobby, what is it? And if you don’t, what would you like it to be?