I had written an article about how to choose hobbies based on a few considerations. I heard back from some of my good friends asking me, “Is having hobbies a must, and what are the benefits of having hobbies?”
My intention for this article is to share a few benefits of having hobbies and more perspectives that can enhance one’s view about hobbies.
If you are looking to understand how I benefit from having a hobby, this one is for you.
Let’s dive into it.
Enhance your perspectives
Legendary innovators like Franklin, Snow, and Darwin all possess some common intellectual qualities — a certain quickness of mind, unbounded curiosity — but they also share one other defining attribute. They have a lot of hobbies. Steven Johnson
I would say this one would top the chart when it comes to the benefits of having hobbies. Fundamentally, our perspectives about anything gets better when we step out of our routines. For example, I have come across many individuals in my career that I always saw they had more perspectives. They had the insight to share on many topics of interests like sports, politics, freedom, art, economy, environment, and so on. When I wondered how they could be gaining so many insights, it was their reading as a hobby. They read a lot.
Until we don’t do something, we may have some perspectives about it. And only when we do it, we may gain a new, practical, realistic understanding of it. For example, until you start reading, you may feel you don’t have that much time. But when you start reading and start gaining those insights, you never know, you may fall in love with it.
Change your habits
You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine — John C Maxsell
Habit, by definition, is a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. It could be either good or bad, in my view. Of course, something could be good at one point and can become bad at another time based on our perspective or gained insight about an aspect. For example, cigarette smoking could be good at one time. When we start to have health issues due to cigarette smoking, one may realize it is not good as well.
I know of people who continue to smoke despite knowing they are going to have issues if they continued, but let’s not worry about them for now.
How do hobbies help change our habits? If you are not an early bird, you may want to change your habit of “not waking early” to being an “early bird” so you gain time to use for any of your chosen hobbies. Like it could be for a morning walk/jog, meditation, writing, hearing a podcast, doing some domestic work, and many more. By choosing what you like to do as a hobby which gives you joy and happiness, it can act as a motivation to change your habits.
Reduce your stress
It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it — Lou Holtz
Hobbies come a long way in reducing our stress levels throughout the day. Any hobby, be it outdoor or indoor, creative or physical, all can reduce our stress.
If you look at what causes stress, it is generally a feeling that you have when doing something that you don’t want to do at all or you don’t want to do at a particular time. We sometimes overcome this by forcing us to do it based on circumstances. But given an option, we would like to do something else that makes us feel better and lighter so we can come back to work on it with better ability. Hobbies can make it easier for us. Those who use hobbies as a way to uplift their energy or attitude change over time that what caused stress for them is no more stress.
Grow your network
Networking is not just about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities — Michele Jennae
Hobbies can help you make a great network of friends and acquaintances. I have made many friends through a few of my hobbies.
Well, not all hobbies may help achieve this but depending on whether that is more outdoor, interactive, or team-oriented, you may get in touch with more people as part of your hobby development.
As a runner (running is my hobby), I have made a great set of friends through training together, traveling to places for running races, and conducting community events uplifting wellness for people.
Even if you are someone who doesn’t like to step out a lot, you may choose hobbies like writing. When you attend meetups regularly and interact with other writers through social media channels like Facebook groups, you start to grow your network of friends and acquaintances.
As we all know, networking comes a long way in this era, be it getting a referral for a job, hearing a powerful business idea. It need not be for only gain, could be giving as well. We may come across people who can get us ways to serve communities and people.
Enhance your pride
Take pride in how far you have come, Have faith in how far you can go — anonymous
For many who are busy with their work-life and already feeling the monotony, hobbies can come a long way to make them feel proud of themselves. Pride uplifts positivity, self-confidence, and esteem in people.
I had a colleague at my workplace. He was 32 years old or so. Despite his full-time job, due to his interest in writing, he wrote a novel and published it as well. He shared how good he felt about his accomplishment as a published author. Colleagues were proud of him because he has shown to all of us that we all could be more than what we believe we could be.
While we have looked at a few benefits of hobbies in general, depending upon what kind of hobby you choose for yourself, there can be much more. If you decide to pick the morning walk or jog as a hobby, apart from becoming an early bird, you will improve your health apart from growing your network.
Remember, hobbies are sometimes hard to choose to start with but choose based on your liking and needs they will help you transform by providing intrinsic motivation.