"Happy is the man who is living by his hobby" - George Shaw
Whether or not we realize it, we all have the choice to make life great. We can do this simply by fitting into our day the things we love.
As Elbert Hubbard once said, “It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.”
First, why should we make time for hobbies?
Hobbies don't just pass time, they can improve our lives.
But in our fast-paced and busy world, have you ever thought that spending time doing what you enjoy isn't productive?
That it shouldn't be on the top of the priority list? Not before everything else we have to do... working, cleaning and investing in our relationships?
This couldn't be further from wrong.
Here are six convincing reasons why we need to make time for our hobbies:
1. They help us structure our time
If you're not making time for the things that you enjoy, you're giving this time to other areas of your life.
By penciling in time for your hobbies, it'll create a sense of having more time, because you'll be forced to become more efficient in other areas.
2. They Promote the state of flow
When time flies and you're completely absorbed in what you are doing, whether it's exercise, art, or some other pass time - this is flow.
This desirable and meditative experience of getting completely lost in an activity is found to improve our overall wellness.
3. They help build new relationships
Starting a new hobby or activity is a great place to meet new people, as you'll already have a shared interest in common.
Studies have found that meaningful friendships are one of the key blocks to having a happy and meaningful life.
4. They make you more interesting
Interested people are always more interesting.
You can share your passions and activities with those around you, bringing a whole new dimension to both yours and their lives.
5. They help you cope with stress
The diversity gained from doing something else helps with our sense of identity.
After a stressful day, being able to do something we enjoy not only distracts us from our stressors but also helps us to shift our focus.
6. The benefits will spill over into other areas of life
To top it off, all these benefits (explained above) result in a more fulfilled and wholesome you. You'll begin to notice that your positivity will overflow around you - into your job, relationships and general outlook on life.
To summarise this blog in one sentence - if you limit your interests, you limit your life.
Don't know what you love doing yet? Try out as many different ideas as you can!
Here are 4 suggestions to get you started:
1. Take Photos
Anyone can take a great photo these days. If you think you can't I have two tips for you - point and shoot. Ok, maybe they won't all be great shots. But my point is you can definitely take a photo, and we all start out as beginners.
If you want to go beyond your skill level, there are heaps of free online courses to help you learn some tips and hundreds of apps where you can create your own modern-darkroom at home.
Start a website, a social media account or print them off and make an old school photo album.
2. Join the Colouring Book Craze
You've seen them everywhere - and no you're not too old to get involved. They're adult coloring books :) and they've been proven to relax the mind!
A new alternative to traditional meditation and a great way to spend your downtime.
3. Try out Podcasts
There's literally a podcast about everything and anything. What are you interested in?
Do you want to catch up on the news, learn a new language or find tips on a particular topic - like learning what the hell is going on in the American Political campaign? Downloading the 'Podcast App' is free and with it comes a free wealth of knowledge.
Make your time even more productive and listen to them while you're commuting, exercising or cleaning the house! That's multitasking at it's finest.
4. Get into Documentaries
Another way to learn about whatever you're interested in is to become a documentary buff. It's guilt-free tv! Even if you totally suck at hobbies you can do this one. You just have to take the time to sit down, relax and soak up the info.
A great site to search on is http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/ where you can look up what you're interested in and watch them all for free.
For some inspiration, I chatted with a very talented photographer, Wolfe Repass (wolferepass.com), about why he loves photography and how his passion evolved. Wolfe captures picturesque moments in nature that will not only inspire you but will take your breath away.
Wolfe explained, “Being outside in natural environments has always been a part of my life. Whether it was playing in the pasture at my grandparent’s farm, fishing with my best bud and his dad, or hiking with my family, it's always been there. My mom also took our family on lots of travels growing up, so I've always been down with seeing new places."
He explained that during his teenage years he was pretty focused on athletics, but once competitive sports were over he found his way back into the outdoors and travel. After that, Wolfe needed something to focus his energy on. It was Wolfe's mom who introduced him to photography around that time. Wolfe explained that "Nature photography was just a progressive next step that happened."
Wolfe shared that he loves being around nature "because it allows me to shut off my brain from the "real" world. For me, it's about observing things that you will never truly understand, and discovering things that are much bigger than the human world."
He explained that he also feels the strong benefits of having a hobby or passion outside of your profession, something that you can look forward to and work towards. "It keeps me motivated," he said. "All of that, plus my wife likes it when I leave her alone for a few hours now and then to get outside.”
Who said finding a hobby was hard?
Have a hobby you love & want to share?