Hobbies and Mental Health: The Relationship Between Your Heart and Your Mind

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We often live to work. The average person spends 90,000 hours of their life working. We work 40 hour weeks only to really live for the weekend. How often do you spend time doing what makes you feel good outside of work? And if you’re not spending time working, how would you like to spend your time?

Work can fulfill most of us however it is not always the thing that sets us on fire. Having a passion or a hobby outside of what we do to pay our bills is vital for a healthy mind. What sets you on fire? What makes your heart happy? Mental health and passion have an intimate relationship with one another. Studies show that having a hobby outside of your normal day-to-day tasks releases endorphins in a spontaneous rate. This creates the feeling of “something to look forward to.”

Here are some benefits of pursuing your passions more frequently.

Give back to the community:

Having a hobby, specifically, a creative hobby is an innovative way to give back to your community. The world deserves more art, more music, more literature. Think about the art that you’re inspired by and how it changed you as a person. Your favorite song, movie, piece of furniture, coffee mug, all come from someone. You have the ability to create someone’s favorite thing.

Hobbies can help your brain function better:

Having a hobby keeps your brain active. Doing the same “brain work” every day can keep you stagnate and complacent. Exercising your mind in strategic ways keeps your mind healthy and innovative. It encourages outside-of-the-box thinking. Puzzle-solving/collecting sharpens your logic skills. Knitting will deepen your strategic thinking skills along with your patience. Honing in on your skills improves your mental health as you continue to build who you are through your activities.

Hobbies decrease depression:

Depression is caused by the imbalance of chemicals in the brain. The mental level is disturbed due to specific chemicals in the brain that are present in a larger amount. For example, working out releases natural endorphins ultimately putting you in a better mood. Yoga and meditation have the same effect on the body. These hobbies also improve physical health which may contribute to your overall health.

Bringing people together:

Hobbies can also bring people together. Starting a new hobby with a friend or family member is more approachable than doing it alone. Creating a book club with your loved ones that you haven’t been able to see during the pandemic is a great way to reconnect. Zoom book club anyone?

Pursuing a passion and diving into a hobby makes your heart feel full. Life is full of moments that pass you by. Be more present. Think about what fuels you. Monitor your mental health. If you are in an assisted living facility, this can be done by any hospice professional.

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