Studies have shown a link between adult hobbies and a reduction in stress levels.
As parents we are always trying to encourage our children to enjoy hobbies. They help concentration levels, improve sleep and introduce them to a whole host of new friends. Hobbies are a great way for children to socialise and exercise at the same time. But what about hobbies for adults? Do you have any? Here is why you probably should.
Science tells us that hobbies are just as important for adults as they are for children. In fact, they may even be more important because we all know that when we are feeling our best our families get the best of us too. Hobbies that involve social interaction come with a level of support that naturally reduces our stress levels. In the current climate these social activities may not be possible or at the very least they may look a little different.
Now might seem like a strange time to take up a new hobby but in another way it could actually be perfect timing. After a very challenging couple of months it would be nice to start an activity that is completely for you and separate to your day to day "duties". A study by Harvard Health showed the link between daily hobbies and better heart health. According to Harvard Health stress can have a huge affect on a person's cardiovascular system.
" To stay healthy, you need to find ways to counteract your body's innate, acute response to stress,"
A great way of doing this is an activity that promotes mindfulness. When we are experiencing mindfulness we are allowing our mind to focus on the present moment without judgement. For this reason it is a powerful way to naturally reduce stress. When we are feeling calm our physiology reflects that and it can have a positive affect on the way our body functions.
The great thing about a hobby that promotes mindfulness is the fact that it can be done anywhere. You may not be benefiting from the social element of some hobbies but the sense of calm that can be experienced while doing some painting, knitting or reading is incredibly good for your health.
When we participate in a hobby that has no monetary value in our lives it is free from the kind of pressure and responsibility that we often associate with work and parenting. The benefit here is that by making time for a hobby we can actually perform better in a work and home capacity. A study by the Journal Of Occupational And Organizational Psychology showed the benefits that can come when an employer offers creative opportunities to their employees that are outside of their working hours and responsibilities.
" Creative activities are likely to provide valuable experiences of mastery and control, but may also provide employees experiences of discovery that uniquely influence performance‐related outcomes "
Hobbies like yoga, gardening and dancing can reduce the stress hormone cortisol. They help focus your attention on one activity which distracts your mind from the sources of your stress. According to Harvard Health
" Choose something you really enjoy, whether it's playing a musical instrument, gardening, painting, or practicing free throws or your golf swing. Focusing on each moment as it happens can help keep your thoughts from drifting to past or future worries "
Do you make time for daily activities/hobbies?