How hobbies can help your mental wellbeing

September 1, 2021 | by Lynette Mayo

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Do you have a hobby? If you do, then you’re already likely to know the many benefits having a hobby or hobbies can have on your mental wellbeing.

Now that lockdown has ended, some people may be finding it difficult to find the time to indulge in activities we enjoy. Having a hobby isn’t just about passing the time or having me time, it is crucial for your mental wellbeing and health.

Rewards

Having a hobby can affect the reward system in your brain. By doing something we enjoy, chemical messages (neurotransmitters) are released to our brain.

One of the chemicals which is released is dopamine, the chemical which make us feel pleasure. Therefore, having these feelings will make us want to do the activity again. It’s a happy circle.

What hobbies?

There are so many hobbies to choose from, and each type of hobby have different benefits for your wellbeing.

Physical hobbies can improve your fitness, playing a musical instrument can improve memory function and artistic hobbies are reported to prevent dementia in later life.

There are a number of benefits you can begin to enjoy immediately from having a hobby which are:

  • Happiness
  • Social benefits
  • Confidence
  • Physical and Mental Wellness
  • Relaxation and Rejuvenation.

Finding the time

With life now almost back in full swing, many of us are saying we simply do not have the time for the hobbies we may have started in lockdown.

For all the reasons above, it is really important to find some time for the things you love and will benefit from.

Try some of these things:

  • Turn an existing activity in to a hobby – Do you like to cook? Give it some flair and make the time to cook new things.
  • Small minutes make a difference – if you only have five minutes, make this count.
  • Get up a little earlier – If you start your day with your hobby, the rest of your day will be more productive and your happiness levels will be upped.

Whatever your hobby, whether it be boxing, playing an instrument or painting, take the time to engage with your feelings. How do you feel before, during and after you have done your hobby.

Most of all, remember: stay safe, be kind and give to yourself.