Why Hobbies ?

In this fast paced world, everyone is in a hurry and we are often busier than we’d like to be. We can sometimes feel trapped by our daily routines. Life becomes so mundane that we feel dull and lack enthusiasm to enjoy even what we have within our limits. Going about our work, keeping up with dead-lines and fulfilling goals, are all fine, and in fact necessary for our progress. However, taking a break to do something we love can refresh our minds and make us happy and satisfied with our lives. So, it is healthy to develop hobbies for our enjoyment.

A hobby is any activity that is done for one’s pleasure and enjoyment during one’s leisure time. There are infinite options for hobbies, but some common ones are reading, drawing, crafting, cooking, baking, gardening, cycling/biking, travelling, etc. People also collect objects of interest as their hobby. For example, they may collect stamps, coins, antiques, curios from various countries, and sometimes even weirder things such as birds’ nests, insects, historical photographs, post-cards from across the world, etc. Some may choose more sedentary hobbies such as watching television, lazing or napping. But these may not be so good in the long-run. You can choose your hobbies based on your interests. You can also try something altogether new! Make your life interesting

I have often wondered about King Solomon. He was a wise man, he had a kingdom, he had acquired many horses and chariots, he had many wives to look after, he built the temple and he had very many responsibilities to shoulder. Yet the Bible mentions that he had much knowledge about plant life (I Kings 4:33)- from the Cedar of Lebanon to the Hyssop that grows out of the cracks in the walls. I guess it may have been his hobby to observe nature or study plants. If King Solomon had time for a hobby, I’m sure we all do too.

Hobbies have numerous benefits for us- physically, emotionally and mentally. Below is a list of some of them-
It helps us de-stress. Doing what we love will take our mind away from those things that are stressing us out. It instead helps us by uplifting our mood and making us happy. Research shows that having a hobby can lessen chances of being depressed.

It prompts us to experiment and explore. In our daily life, we are often too comfortable doing only what we know. But having a hobby leads us to explore and experiment with the things we love. For example, someone who loves baking is bound to try new recipes. And doing new things makes life interesting.

It promotes physical health and fitness. If we choose healthy hobbies that involve a certain amount of physical activity, our bodies are bound to benefit from it. Taking a stroll through a quiet lane, cycling and swimming may all be enjoyable outdoor activities that actually increase not only our heart-rate but also our happiness; and they reduce not just our stress levels but also our waist circumference.

It prevents us from developing bad habits. We have all heard that ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop’. And we all know it is true! If we have a hobby to pursue during our free time, then we won’t have time for wasting or for indulging in any bad habits.

It gives us opportunity to learn new skills. In today’s world, alongside education, skill is also highly valued. Unfortunately many students are focused on academic skills but lack in their co-curricular skills. We never know when the skills we have developed through our hobbies may help us in the future. An experienced surgeon said that as a school girl she used to carve miniature wooden toys. The fine motor skills and dexterity that she had developed then, and practiced over the years, had helped her to use her fingers very deftly, even during very intricate surgeries!

It makes us confident of ourselves. Learning new skills, doing the things we like and mastering any art will build our self esteem; because we feel good about ourselves when we are good at something. It will further motivate us to learn or try new things that we may have previously thought were impossible.

It helps us socialize. When we have a hobby, we will be more inclined to meet those who have similar hobbies. Also, for those who feel shy or awkward in social situations, not knowing what to talk about, a hobby will give you plenty to talk about. In fact people may find you interesting when you share with them about your hobby or experiences.

Hobbies enrich our lives and help us stay passionate about living even during tough times. So find your hobby, make good use of your time and enjoy life.

Gifty Joel, lives with her parents in Bengaluru. Having done her Ph.D. in Human Development, she enjoys crafting, writing and ministry to Children. She is a member of UESI Communication Department.

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