Being physically healthy comes as a no-brainer for most men. Being mentally healthy, on the other hand, is a bit more elusive: It’s been found that around two out of every five college students never pick up another book after graduating.
Now, I’m not worried about you—you’re reading this article, so I’m sure you’re not part of the statistic. But even then, it’s important to keep yourself mentally healthy—it’s going to make you happier, expose you to more choices and opportunities, and even help you make new friends.
And one of the easiest, fastest, most enjoyable ways to stay mentally fit is to take up a new hobby. This article will help you choose a new hobby that will move your body, stimulate your mind, and nurture your heart.
Who Needs a Hobby?
Frankly speaking, everyone does. As long as you’re meeting all your obligations to yourself and the people who count on you … the more hobbies you have, the better.
The first challenge is choosing—with so many different hobbies out there, which one is best for you?
It’s easier to choose when you answer the two following questions:
1. Do you need more interaction with people, or less? There are basically two kinds of hobbies: Individual, or the ones you do on your own, and social, the ones you do with other people. If you already spend too much time with people, individual hobbies might be better for you—but if you stay home alone too much, then go for social hobbies.
2. What are the things you want to get better at, and the things you’ve always wanted to try, but never had the time for? Make a list: Your answers to this question will help you choose the best hobbies for you.
The “Big Three” Hobby Categories
Most (if not all) hobbies can be lumped into one of the following “big three” hobby categories:
#1: Exercise. Soldiers know for a fact that mental toughness relies on physical toughness, and you can’t be mentally tough if you don’t engage in some form of exercise. Good exercise-based hobbies include sports, martial arts, climbing (wall, rock, or mountain), hiking, and dance.
Special mention: If you’re single and would like to meet more women, enroll yourself in a dance class – preferably something inherently sultry, like salsa. Women tend to vastly outnumber men in dance classes, and since many dances involve groups and pairs, you’ll definitely meet a few interesting ladies there, too.
#2: Art. Creating and appreciating art is always a good hobby to have, particularly if you want a hobby to help you relax and de-stress. Good art-based hobbies include painting, sculpting, pottery, collecting, carpentry, leatherwork, music, gardening, and even urban farming.
Many men find it satisfying to learn about carpentry, masonry, electrical work, and other “Do-It-Yourself” skills because it gives them more control over how they want their homes to look and function. If you’ve ever wanted to remodel the house without hiring designers and redecorators, this one’s for you.
#3: Travel. Hands-down, nothing educates the mind more than travel. We’re not talking about going to exotic beaches – we’re talking about the kind of travel that lets you explore new cultures, eat new food, meet new people, and open your mind to new possibilities.
Granted, travel can be expensive. But you can start small and easy by visiting a developing country, or by visiting in groups. The rewards will be well worth it.
Pick a New Hobby Now
What if you have “no time” for hobbies? Then you may have too many obligations in your life. See if there’s any obligations you can cut out, without damaging any of your relationships or income streams, and then cut them.
The key to enjoying hobbies—and truly, enjoying life itself—is all about reducing your obligations to a bare minimum, so that you’ll have control over a greater percentage of your life. Do it right now—your brain will thank you for it.
Like this article? Feel free to Share it with your colleagues. To read more articles like this, or to connect with me for coaching and speaking, let’s chat: KevinJDonaldson.com
Photo: Getty Images