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Hobbies as an adult. Are they necessary?

Hobbies as an adult. Are they necessary .png

Hobbies as an adult. Are they necessary? 

What activities relax you? What makes you smile and erases your stress away after a long, tiring day? What do you love to do in your free time?  These are your hobbies! 

Hobbies can vary from academic or artistic activities, athletic pursuits to more unconventional projects- but all of them bring us pleasure. 

These pastimes are linked to several benefits such as improved happiness and life satisfaction and decreased signs and symptoms of mental health issues like anxiety and depression. In fact, an analysis of 5 studies involving more than 90,000 older adults in 16 countries showed that the enjoyment of hobbies had a positive effect on the adults’ mental and physical wellbeing.

Hobbies and their benefits to adults

Many factors cause so much stress in this modern world, but engaging in simple activities that bring us joy is a strategy that creates positive changes in our mental health. 

  1. Hobbies reduce stress. Cortisol is one of the major hormones released by the body during stressful moments. One study involving 39 healthy individuals presented that after participating in visual arts activities, their cortisol levels dropped significantly. Even more, they said that their art session was relaxing and it helped them express themselves, and feel free from pressures of life. What’s even more interesting is that regardless of their skill level in art, they all experienced lower stress.
  2. Hobbies improve social connection and decrease anxiety. Improved mental wellbeing is seen in many hobbies, but improved social connection and reduced anxiety are especially significant in hobbies that involve belonging to a group or a team. In these hobbies, we can meet people, connect, and form friendships. 
  3. Hobbies result in better physical wellbeing. Those who have enjoyable pastimes show marked reduction in stress levels, reduced blood pressure and lower heart rate. More health benefits are seen when hobbies are performed outdoors, too! 

Hobbies you might want to try in your next free time

  1. Cooking. It might feel and look like a chore, and many would not consider it a hobby. But for some, trying out an exciting new recipe is enjoyable! It is also fun because you get to enjoy or share your cooking afterwards. One downside of cooking is the cleaning up once you’re done. Overall, cooking can improve your self-esteem because you learn something new and purposeful. 
  1. Journaling. Writing down your thoughts, recording events or even taking note of things you are grateful for might make you think less or negative thoughts. Start coming up with 2 or 3 things you appreciate in your life, and you might benefit from the dopamine and serotonin hormones your brain releases when you are happy.
  1. Coloring, painting or drawing. Making some form of art as a hobby regardless of our ability and experience still produces the same effect. It releases our stress by decreasing our stress hormones. There is something calming about focusing our mind on the canvas or paper in front of us, mixing colors together and letting our hands and eyes guide us to our finished painting.
  1. Physical hobbies and athletic activities. Is there a trail near you? Or a street lined with shops and trees? Taking a short hike in a park or a quick stroll around your neighborhood combines the benefits of exercise and a hobby! Movement encourages blood flow, giving you better sleep and a change in scenery clears your mind and reduces stress. 

Dancing has been shown to benefit adults too. It increases stamina and makes bones and muscles stronger. Making dancing a regular part of your week strengthens you physically and protects you from unintentional injuries from falls.

Gardening is another hobby that encourages you to move, stretch and stand. 

Life, at its many stages, may become demanding, making us busy. But making sure that we have a more balanced life through engagement in fun, especially in our adulthood, we get to enjoy the benefits like improved physical and mental wellbeing. 

After all, as we go through these life stages, we still continue to grow and learn. Hobbies have the power to enrich our life, and give us fresh perspectives on life. Let’s continue to tickle our brain, move our body, and build friendships for a happy, fulfilling life. 

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Hobbies as an adult. Are they necessary?
Brandon Resasco