Why Hobbies Are Important

Having a hobby that we enjoy brings us joy and enriches our lives. It gives us something fun to do during our leisure time and affords us the opportunity to learn new skills. We are very fortunate to have so many different options out there today. In fact, there are entire websites devoted to hobbies and interests.

The best way to cultivate a new hobby is to try something new. The world is full of wonderful, exciting activities that we can explore and adopt as our own. Of course, all of us are unique and, therefore, our interests and hobbies vary. But once we find a hobby that we truly enjoy and are passionate about, we become hooked. It becomes part of our lives and captivates us in a very personal way.

There are many reasons why all of us should have at least one hobby, but here are the main advantages:

  1. It makes you more interesting. People who have hobbies have experiences and stories that they can share with others. They also have specialized knowledge that they can teach to anyone who also has an interest in the same topics as they do.
  2. It helps to relieve stress by keeping you engaged in something you enjoy. Hobbies give you a way to take your mind off the stresses of everyday life. They let you relax and seek pleasure in activities that aren’t associated with work, chores or other responsibilities.
  3. Hobbies help you become more patient. In order to develop a new hobby, you have to learn how to do something that is brand new to you. The odds are there will be a learning curve, and you will need to be patient in order to build your skills.
  4. Having a hobby can help your social life and create a bond with others. A hobby is something that you can frequently enjoy with other people. Whether you join a club, play in a league, or just gift others with the fruits of your labor, a hobby is a great way to meet and get closer to people who have the same interests as you do.
  5. It increases your confidence and self-esteem. The odds are that if you really enjoy an activity, you are usually pretty good at it. Any activity that you can excel in is an opportunity for you to build your confidence and develop pride in your accomplishments.
  6. Hobbies help reduce or eradicate boredom. They give you something to do when you find yourself with nothing to fill your time. They also give you an activity that you can look forward to and get excited about.
  7. It helps you develop new skills. A hobby that you really dedicate your time to will lead you to build new skills. As you spend more time at your hobby you will become better and better at it.
  8. It increases your knowledge. Along with building new skills, you will also gain new knowledge through the development of your hobby.
  9. It enriches your life and gives you a different perspective on things. No matter what type of hobby you choose, you will definitely be exposed to new ideas. Hobbies help you grow in various ways, including exposing you to new opinions and to new ways to look at life.
  10. It challenges you. When you pick a new hobby, you will be involved in activities that are novel and challenging. If you don’t find your hobby challenging, then you also won’t find it engaging, and it will be less enjoyable. That means you need to find a better hobby.
  11. It helps prevent bad habits and wasting time. There is an old saying that “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” If you have good hobbies to fill up your free time, then you will be less likely to spend that time on wasteful or negative activities.

In case you are wondering what my hobbies are: Over the years, I have had numerous hobbies and interests, but I currently have 5 that I am passionate about. They have changed my life in a positive way and provided me with a lot of joy.

1. Reading
I love reading books, especially nonfiction ones. I currently read about 60 books per year on a wide array of topics. For example, I am currently reading a book called The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes which focuses on a tribe of native Indians that lives in isolation in the Amazonian forest. The book is over 800 pages long and offers a fascinating glimpse into their lives and culture. It illustrates the importance of preserving our environment and ecology and is a wonderful read.

Every book I read (I try to be discriminate about what I read) teaches me something about the world at large and provides me with a new perspective on life. The books are a wonderful way to transport me to a different place and era without actually leaving home. Best of all, I joined my local public library and download ebooks for free!

2. Cooking
One of my favorite hobbies is cooking. On average, I cook about 5 days per week, often making extra that I can freeze for convenience. Cooking has taught me so much about patience and focus because those 2 are essential ingredients to make delicious food. The more I cook, the better I get at it. Of course, I have also cooked food that did not turn out so well, but I learned from my mistakes and improved each time. I cook food that is healthy that I enjoy eating. Best of all, it is generally cheaper and better tasting than eating out at most restaurants.

3. Watching documentaries
In general, I am not a big TV fan. However, I make an exception for good documentaries. Thanks to Netflix, Hulu, on-demand TV, and wonderful channels like Smithsonian and National Geographic, I have a wide array of exciting documentaries on my watch list that inspire, educate, and excite me. I probably watch about 45 documentaries per year and some of my favorites are Craigslist Joe, Happy, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Somm, and Man on Wire.

4. Exercising
Quite a few years ago, I decided to exercise regularly and it has been a wonderful hobby for me, although some may argue it is more of a necessity rather than a hobby, much like brushing your teeth. However, I really enjoy all sorts of exercise: going to the gym, lifting weights, running, walking, hiking, playing racquetball and soccer, etc. The longer I do it, the more I learn and enjoy it. I have also met a lot of wonderful people who share this passion.

5. Gardening
Edible gardens have become popular in the last couple of years. I started growing my first edible garden several years ago in order to complement my love for cooking. Not only does my garden provide me with herbs and vegetables that I can use in my favorite dishes, it also provides me with a healthy and totally organic food source. I love knowing exactly what has gone into growing the food that I am eating. Additionally, I have learned a lot about what plants grow best in my region, what the best seasons are to grow each of them, and also how much water and sun they need. My edible garden not only nourishes my body, but it teaches me a lot as well.

My hobbies are a very important part of my life. I find they enrich my days and give me a great escape from the regular stresses of life. If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend that you start to explore and develop at least one hobby that you really enjoy. I guarantee you will be very glad you did.


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