Many of us consider a hobby to be a luxury we can’t afford in our busy lives, yet there is evidence to suggest that having interests is good for us.
So can a new hobby really enrich your life? Here are 4 very good reasons to get started:
1 - You will learn much more about yourself
Starting something new could unearth a talent you haven’t yet discovered. If you have never picked up a camera, how can you know how good you are at photography? Whilst our experiences within education shape academic success, it is not exam results alone that determine a person’s ability. Spend some time thinking about the things you would like to explore, once you have a shortlist it will be easier to find further information or local classes. Taster sessions are often available to try something out. Don’t place too many expectations on yourself at the beginning, keep exploring until you find your thing.
2 - You can meet new people…if you want to
Socialising is not for everyone but can be a great way to meet like-minded people in your area. Widening your network can help you to feel much more settled at home. Meeting people through a common interest can provide healthy escapism from work or family life. Joining social groups improves communication skills beneficial for personal development and is attractive to employers.
If you are not keen on meeting new people and prefer your own company, there are still pastimes you can pursue. Hobbies such as crafting from home or photography can be followed in your own time and space but are likely to require a financial investment. You can always connect with interest groups online if you prefer this type of interaction.
3 - Improve your mental health
Taking time out to do something we enjoy is good for our health. Focusing on something of interest helps to empty the mind of worries and niggles. Pursuit of a hobby is wholly of our own choosing, which gives us control over how it is done and how often. People often say exercise is addictive because it releases feel-good endorphins that send powerful ‘happy’ messages to the brain. Whether a hobby is physical or requires mental concentration, if we are enjoying the process it feeds the brain in a positive way.
4 - Enhance your employability
Once you find something you are truly passionate about, it is something you can talk about with others. An employer will often ask about your interests because it’s a good conversation starter. When considering you for work, your hobby tells them you are self-disciplined, interested in new things and sociable. The hobby itself may also lead the way to a new job, inspiring an alternative way to make a living.
Whatever your motivation - other than cost - there are few limitations to getting started with a new hobby. The benefits are wide-reaching and could change the course of your life for the better…what’s not to like?