A hobby is something we love to indulge in. It is not related to our profession or work life; still we get passionately involved in our hobbies and derive immense pleasure from it. In short, a hobby is something which makes us happy. So, does it not inevitably establish a link to mental health? Yes, it does and that is the reason why many mental health programs for adults lay emphasis to cultivating a hobby.
How does a hobby help in mental health?
Michael Brickey, author of “Defy Aging” says a hobby serves three primary purposes.
They give us a sense of purpose.
They engage our passion or enthusiasm.
They provide a mini-vacation from our daily lives.
It enhances our problem-solving ability: A hobby could be anything, right from knitting a sweater to gardening to painting your own canvas. When we are deeply engrossed in something we love, our creative juices flow and it sparks in us our problem-solving ability. Our vision becomes clearer and we gain sufficient mental clarity. Hence, a person who often engages in a hobby is less susceptible to dementia and depression.
Stress reduction: Hobbies divert our attention from worries and this lead to stress reduction. When stress reduces, blood pressure and anxiety also reduces.
Self-discovery: Hobbies allow us to rediscover ourselves and connect to our inner beings. When we participate in a hobby we gain perspective in other aspects of our lives which is an added benefit. A solution for a long problem might just pop out of the blue.
Career opportunities: A hobby, at times, might land us a fulfilling career. There is nothing like your passion being your career. Under such circumstances, you accomplish your tasks with effortless ease.
Improved social life: Hobbies often lead you to mingle with others. This in turn improves your social life which is very important to maintain a healthy mood. As your social quotient improves, you feel good about yourself which is directly related with a sound mental health.
Breakaway from mundane activities: Dr. Peter Lichtenberg of Wayne State University opines that people who are engaged in a hobby are less inclined to suffer from depression. It breaks the mold of monotonous thinking and diverts your attention from daily mundane activities.
So, every mental health center has now realized the importance of hobbies in a person’s life and vehemently supports in inculcating it.