It’s easy to find yourself stuck in a mundane routine. Our lives become a pattern of work, sleep, work and sleep that’s tough to break from, let alone change, and this dull complacency has an adverse effect on our health, relationships and broader perspective on the world.
But if the work-sleep-work formula no longer satisfies you, it’s time to throw a new variable into the equation.
Hiking, biking, swimming, skiing, model building, bodybuilding, martial arts, paintball, collecting books, coins, stamps, cars and cards — whatever you choose to pursue, shirking the old status quo and developing a new skill or interest helps you to grow into a well-rounded individual.
In this article, we’ll detail the many benefits that come with adopting a new hobby.
Expand Your Social Circle
We often choose our friends based on common interests. Picking up a new hobby introduces you to an entirely new network of people, all who share your fascination with whatever subject you decide to invest in. When choosing a hobby, you’re also choosing a community to belong to.
From broadly accepted hobbies like rare vinyl record collection to the most esoteric hobbies like modular origami, you’ll always find a group of likeminded individuals to discuss your craft. Whatever you choose, it’s highly unlikely that you’re the only person on the planet who finds it intriguing.
Improve Your Cognition
Many hobbies that involve manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination improve the neural pathways in your brain. Practicing an instrument like a piano or a guitar — studying the rhythm and exercising intuition — can significantly enhance the player’s ability to function in other areas of their life.
Producing music increases the player’s volume of gray matter, responsible for processing information. Stronger processing and a nuanced grasp on sound are advantageous to those who are looking to learn a new language. In consideration of the benefits, taking lessons for a new instrument is a sound decision.
Reap the Rewards
Some hobbies produce material goods for the hobbyist. The best example of this is gardening. After the long, rewarding process of planting, tending, watering and harvesting, the result is a medley of spices, fruit and vegetables that the gardener won’t have to factor into his grocery budget.
Music is another example of a hobby with high returns. For those who pursue it with enough passion and motivation, they can move from a basement recording studio to a professional space, releasing albums and touring the country. It’s the quintessential success story we’re all familiar with.
Grow Your Marketability
Between a bilingual applicant and a monolingual applicant with the same qualifications, the job will always go to the bilingual applicant. Choosing a hobby — in this instance, acquiring a second language — has the additional benefit of improving your resume in the eyes of potential employers.
You might enjoy toying around with classic cars and automobile restoration. If you hone those skills to peak marketability, you could sell your services to diversify your income. It all comes down to how much time and effort you’re willing to put into making your hobby a desirable skill.
Learn Time Management
Even those of us with busy schedules are guilty of killing time every now and again. We’ll use the last half-hour in a day to laze around on our phones, doing nothing productive but exercise our forefinger as we scroll through the news feed. Engaging in a hobby makes use of that wasted time.
Boredom contributes to bad habits and reckless behavior from people who had too much time on their hands and nothing to do. When you apply yourself to something fun and simple like fishing, you’re putting your mind toward a purpose and directing it away from intrusive ideas.
Make a Change Today!
Your hobby doesn’t have to be bungee jumping — but take the leap! Stop by a local bookstore and pick up something that catches your eye, or look online for popular pastimes that appeal to your interests and talents. Just make one small difference in your current routine.
You might find that a small difference goes a long way.
Photo provided by the author.