Hobbies are more than just something to do to kill some time. Pursuing your passions can be a powerful exercise to boost your happiness, self-esteem and overall mental health. Here are six ways that doing something you love as a pastime can benefit your mental health. 

  1. Hobbies Reduce Stress

The best part about having a hobby is that it isn’t work. Working a 9 to 5 job is just one of the many ways that we accumulate stress during the week. After clocking out, it’s nice to have something enjoyable lined up to do. Once you find that one thing you love, be it art, woodworking, sewing or learning how to play an instrument, you will always be able to chip away at that stress, especially if you’re in recovery. Once you find your happy place, you know that you can escape from all your worries and doubt. 

  1. Hobbies Provide Purpose

Sometimes we lose sight of why we are here on Earth. You work all week to earn a paycheck, but what is it all for? This question becomes even more weighted following an impactful moment in life such as a loss in the family or recovery from addiction. When you’re not sure where to find the motivation to keep going, having a hobby that you’re passionate about can put the wind underneath your sails. 

  1. Hobbies Keep You Sharp

Hobbies are meant to be just as challenging as they are enticing. When you find the right hobby, you’ll be able to find new ways to put your passion and skills to the test. This can be incredibly motivating, especially when you set smart, attainable goals to guide your progression. 

  1. Hobbies Make Happy

Whenever you finish creating a piece, or mastering a certain skill, there comes an unmistakable feeling of pride and accomplishment. The surge of endorphins that you are feeling isn’t a fluke. In fact, hobbies are known to create these positive feelings for people all the time. This surge of happiness can be powerful in moments when you are feeling down in the dumps. For an extra dose of happiness, try sharing your accomplishments with the people you love.

  1. Hobbies Boost Confidence

Another feeling you may get when sharing your work with others is an overwhelming sense of confidence in your abilities. Being successful in the things you love to do can bring an invaluable sense of self-worth. Self-worth can help you build a better perception of yourself, on that is positive. Building self-worth and confidence is essential for those in addiction recovery, because it helps them see past their flaws and finally recognize their potential to become their best self. 

  1. Hobbies Lead to Friendships

Finally, pursuing a hobby opens a lot of doors for you to meet new people and build new relationships. Socialization is an important aspect of maintaining good mental health. The connections we make with others teaches us more about who we are as humans, and helps us understand the commonalities we share with each other. There are lots of ways to find people with similar interests online. Once you find someone who shares your hobby, you can grow not only in your skills and knowledge, but also as a person. 

In order to live healthily, you need to be mindful about how your daily activities are impacting your mental health. Everyone needs an outlet to release some steam and cleanse the mind of stress and anxiety. Additionally, everyone needs to feel good about themselves and confident in their individual abilities. Taking on a hobby helps you find that meaning you need to give your life purpose and zest. Through pursuing your passions you not only improve your mental health, but also enrich the very experience of living. 

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