Why You Need to Find a Hobby If there is one thing in your life that ignites your passion outside work, then you are one of the lucky people who has a hobby. In this day and age, when the average American works just under 40 hours a week, having an avenue in which to expend energy, connect with like-minded people, and tap into our creative/musical/sporty side, is crucial if you are to make it in this ‘mad world’. In this post we reveal how hobbies can improve your physical and mental health, and suggest ways that you can find one if you are stumped for ideas. Moreover, we reveal why sport is one of the most beneficial hobbies of all time . The Proven Benefits of Hobbies A 2015 study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine detailed the many benefits of having a hobby – these include: • Greater positive mood, wellbeing or life satisfaction • Lower levels of negativity and symptoms of depression • Lower stress levels and a better ability to cope with tension • Better cardiovascular health • A greater ability to relax Another fascinating reason why having a hobby can be so good for you, is that it lowers boredom. Research shows that feeling disengaged can lead to risky health behaviors, including using drugs or alcohol, smoking, and eating excessively. Which Hobbies are Most Beneficial? Because hobbies are “generally self-selected, self-rewarding behavioral pursuits that take place during non-work time,” their benefits depend on the extent to which they fulfil you. If you are keen to discover a new hobby, follow this golden rule; more you are interested in an activity, the more enjoyment, mood improvements and stress reduction you are likely to experience. Of course, some hobbies have more wide ranging benefits than others. • Fitness/sports, for instance, not only reduce (stress hormone) cortisol levels significantly; they also promote better heart and brain health, and help keep many types of cancer and Type 2 diabetes at bay, by helping us maintain a healthy weight. • Strength training, in particular, has recently been proven to be an ideal activity for elderly people, since it helps them shed excess fat while maintaining muscle – which is crucial for maintaining strength, boosting the metabolism, and burning calories. • Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and Tai Chi, have been proven in numerous studies to be powerful stress busters and mood lifters. • Music has been found to strengthen connections, increase levels of feel-good hormone , dopamine, improve academic performance, boost language development, increase spatial intelligence and so much more. • Art is an excellent way to explore the dichotomy of emotions. • Pets lower our risk of depression and anxiety and help keep us active. There are millions of hobbies to choose from, and like all good habits, the key to reaping their rewards, lies in beginning. Regardless of whether reading, writing, traveling or going to the cinema is your perfect idea of disconnecting and enjoying all you have worked so hard to achieve, make sure to find a hobby, participate in it on a regular basis, and, if possible, reap its benefits alongside friends or loved ones. About the Author: Sally Phillips is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.