Hobbies are a great way to occupy spare time and escape from the day-to-day routines that can often put us in a rut. Hobbies can include ones typically seen on this blog or things like dancing and reading. It can be creative or athletic, single, or in a group. They’re a great way of spending time.
Spending time on a hobby you enjoy can both help your mental and physical health.
Having hobbies is great for physical health!
A study done in the Journal of Biomedicine found interesting results of hobbies on physical health. 1339 participants did a self-test called Pittsburgh Enjoyable Activities Test (PEAT). The PEAT test contained a variety of leisure hobbies of both the creative and athletic variety. Researchers tracked both cortisol (our lovely stress hormone) and other health statistics such as blood pressure. The results showed that participants with higher Peat scores are shown to have lower blood pressure and cortisol levels (Pressman et. al, 2009).
Hobbies are also great for reducing the risk of dementia (Hughes et al., 2010)!
I think the most important aspect of hobbies is their impact on our mental health. I know from personal experience my hobby is an escape from stressful events and it’s a way to decompress from things like my ADHD overstimulation. Gunpla allows me to ground myself and be able to express myself.
Hobbies can reduce stress, much like the first study above involving the PEAT test (Pressman et. al, 2009). Cortisol not only impacts physical health but also mental health. It impacts our sleep and our moods. So when we can get those levels lowered then we can begin to improve some aspects of our mental health. They can also be a tool to help guide those through depressive or anxiety episodes. Hobbies, such as art, are often used as therapy methods for helping with issues such as depression, PTSD, and other related issues.
They can also help build social connections and remove feelings of isolation. Building a social network can help form a group of like-minded people that can support each other while bonding over a hobby.
and I’ll be a little honest, the idea of sitting down at my workbench and working on a little robot or figure has helped me push through stressful work or school events. Right now I’m gearing toward the last two terms of my Bachelor’s degree, which has been very stressful work-wise. The idea of sitting down and being able to be productive at my workbench in a non-academic way is a way that I can decompress my stress.
I hope you found this post enjoyable. Do you have any hobbies? If so share them in the comments.
Happy Monday everyone!
Pressman, S. D., Matthews, K. A., Cohen, S., Martire, L. M., Scheier, M., Baum, A., & Schulz, R. (2009). Association of enjoyable leisure activities with psychological and physical well-being. Psychosomatic medicine, 71(7), 725–732. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181ad7978
Hughes, T. F., Chang, C. C., Vander Bilt, J., & Ganguli, M. (2010). Engagement in reading and hobbies and risk of incident dementia: the MoVIES project. American journal of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, 25(5), 432–438. https://doi.org/10.1177/1533317510368399