5 Hobbies That Will Surely Make You a Better Version of Yourself
Feature Image: Giulia Bertelli
You may think that you’re too busy for hobbies, or that hobbies are for those retired. Well, let me just tell you, that is no longer the case. Hobbies are for everyone, at any age or stage, and they help us in many integral ways. And if you truly wanted to, you can find the time for nearly anything, including hobbies! Hobbies helps us deal with with stress, grow spiritually, connect with ourselves and each other, and they can even help us perform better at work.
Here, I share 5 hobbies that will surely make you a better person.
Apparently, there is more to gardening than meets the eye. It’s not just a way to relax and connect with nature. It’s actually good for both your mind and body, according to “The Nation’s Health” magazine. Gardening helps you release stress and clear your mind, and it has been proven to help with depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that just 2.5 hours of moderate activity each week can help reduce the risk of several health problems, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. My point, here, is that gardening can provide you with a moderate activity and an opportunity to decompress. Don’t underestimate all the lifting and sifting required in gardening. My mom is 63 and has not been to the gym ever in her life, but she has well-defined triceps just from from her gardening practice.
With enticing TV shows, the radio, audio books, podcasts, and vlogs, you may forget to open up a book and read. Growing up, I had books everywhere around my house, but now when I visit the homes of my friends, I rarely see any books. But, as you likely already know, reading is a highly beneficial hobby to take up. An Emory University-led study revealed that reading a novel heightened connectivity in the left temporal cortex, which is the area of the brain associated with receptivity for language. In all, reading helps improve concentration, memory, vocabulary, and it reduces stress and anxiety.
Are you running to the nearest book store yet?
Ha! I bet you didn’t see this one coming. Horseback riding has tons of benefits, but to name a few:
Interaction with horses can be therapeutic. Horse therapy actually exists, and it’s used to treat substance abuse, mental illness, and autism.
Horseback riding develops core strength, as maintaining proper riding posture requires strong core muscles. Riding also improves your balance, tones your abs, and helps prevent injuries.
Finally, horseback riding is a great cardiovascular exercise—for you and your horse! Riding can burn up to 93 calories in just 10 minutes, compared to running, which burns up to 106 calories in 10 minutes. (That’s only 13 calories less!)
Whether you write a blog post, a novel, or something in a personal journal, writing helps you express yourself and cope with your personal experiences. According to a study conducted by UCLA psychologists, writing about your feelings helps regulate your emotions associated with sadness, anger, and pain. According to some neurosurgeons, writing has the ability to change you. German Neuroscientist, Martin Lotze, used functional magnetic resonance scanners to identify what happens in the brains of professional and non-professional writers when they are working on a story. And the study showed that some regions of the brain became active during the creative process of writing, but not while copying the text. So, unleashing your creativity and writing original content trains your brain and makes you smarter.
“Something little that makes you happy”
If nothing from this list sticks out to you, you could pick a hobby of your own. Just pick something that makes you happy—even if it’s patrolling the streets of LA in the early morning with a latte in one hand and your dog on a leash in the other. As we grow up, we tend to do things to either make money, fit in, impress others, or simply out of obligation. But wouldn’t it be nice to make a habit out of something just because it feels good? For me, I like learning new things—a new language, a new martial arts move , a meditation technique, or traveling to new places. I also love to sleep, so once a week I treat myself to an “all you can sleep” buffet. The easiest way to discover a hobby you may love is to think about what made you happy as a child, because, chances are, it will make you happy as an adult, too!