6 Hobbies That Will Make You a Happier Person

This post is brought to you by Carrie Spencer from thespencersadventures.net who has a family mini-farm and is passionate about living self-sustainable and environmentally conscious.

“Valuing your time more than the pursuit of money is linked to greater happiness.” That’s what the experts at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology say, and they have the research to back it up.

It’s not really news that hobbies as part of a mental health getaway are good for you, though. Scientists have known for a long time that the mental and physical benefits hobbies offer to make the activities we do just for fun a very important part of our lives. In addition to making us happier for the moment, studies cited in Shape magazine show hobbies have worthwhile long-term effects as well, like making us smarter and more interesting and helping us meet people.

A few minutes a day of pleasurable activity can even help mitigate or avoid mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Here are 6 hobbies to bolster your mental health.

Physical Activity

From individual activities like running or swimming to organized group sports like soccer or kickball, physical activity is one of the most popular and beneficial ways to spend your free time because it engages both your body and your mind. And no matter what type of physical activity you choose, the benefits are the same. In addition to better overall health, physical activity causes your brain to release endorphins and serotonin, leaving you happier and less stressed.

Podcasting

Whether you want to educate, share knowledge, or entertain, a podcast is a terrific way to provide high-quality content for listeners. To get started, you’ll need to come up with a creative name for your podcast and invest in some equipment such as recording software and a high-quality microphone.

Gardening

When most people think of gardening, rows, and rows of veggies come to mind. But like physical activity, there’s a type of garden for everyone. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, an herb garden might be a good place to start. Just a few small spots on your kitchen counter can be a big boost to your mood.

Want to take it a step further? Depending on how much space you have, you could do a few fruits and veggies in a raised bed, a vertical garden, or just a few hanging pots. Or, if you’d prefer to share the responsibility, community gardens are popular in urban and rural areas alike. Any way you do it, making things grow can give you a real sense of accomplishment, another one of the keys to happiness.

Arts & Crafts

There’s a reason “adult coloring” has become so popular. Self-expression through creativity is a top stress-reliever. As an added bonus, arts and crafts are typically easy and relatively inexpensive to access. For the do-it-yourself type, you can find free online courses on just about anything from hand-lettering to home renovation.

If you want a little more structure and direction, try your local community college’s continuing education program. Just remember that hobbies don’t have to be fancy or expensive to be beneficial. Even putting a pencil on a piece of paper for a few minutes counts.

Reading

If you’re looking for a hobby you can do anytime, anywhere, reading is for you. There are several apps that allow you to download and read just about anything right from your smartphone or tablet. It’s never been easier to get lost in a fictional world, learn something new, or thumb through the latest issue of your favorite magazine. Of course, if you prefer the weight of a book in your hand, local libraries and bookstores are still an option. It’s even possible to make reading a social activity by joining a book club, either virtually or in real life.

Collections of All Kinds

It doesn’t have to be stamps, comic books, or baseball cards, though those are excellent choices. You can collect just about anything, and searching for your next piece online or in-person is part of the fun. Seriously. A friend of mine collects action figures. He sold a third of his collection last year and made enough money to pay for his wedding!

Tools to Help You Getting Started

Concluding Thoughts

And that’s just the start. Thankfully, anyone can experience these positive side effects because a hobby can be literally anything that brings you joy. It can be something you’ve enjoyed your whole life or something entirely new. It can be something you enjoy with a group or something you do entirely by yourself. It can take on any form and be done at any time of day.

You can even turn your hobby into a profitable side business or even a full-time career. If you need more space for a home office or studio, you may need to upgrade your residence. Just be sure you incorporate good time management practices to ensure you don’t overdo it. As long as you’re doing it because you want to and not because you have to, you’ll experience the positive mental and physical health benefits a hobby can provide.

Other blogs you may want to read:

3 Life-Changing Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs

So I did a quick search, because there is no need to reinvent the wheel, and I found a couple of habits that are said to be part of the routine of multiple entrepreneurs. I think the most important thing about these habits is not exactly what you will get from them individually but the transformative energy you will generate while pursuing them. 

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Is Happiness a Realistic Goal?

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.

Dalai Lama

People have demoted me from the pursuit of happiness more times than I can count. They either say happiness is impossible to achieve, or they tell me I’m a hopeless fantasy seeker. At the end of the day, these are two different ways of saying exactly the same. Yet, if we believe each negative situation has a hidden positive intention, then I must say people demote fantasy seekers like me because they either don’t want us to get hurt, or they want to shake off their failed attempts at being happy.

We all wish for happiness and the world would be a better place if we were taught about it in school.

The funny thing is that people also disdain me when I’m unhappy, grumpy, or less energetic. This somehow proves that you will never be able to please Greeks and Trojans. So what shall you do? I think you should follow your heart and what you believe to be true, but if you worry about whether happiness is a realistic goal or not I can assure you that it is not only realistic as well as possible and desirable. We all wish for happiness and the world would be a better place if we were taught about it in school.

If you look at Hawkins’ Scale of Consciousness, you will see that joy and happiness are closer to enlightenment than anger and shame. This scale was developed by David Hawkins thanks to a set of muscle testing and kinesiology measures. According to Hawkins, consciousness can be conceived as a multi-staged continuum of vibrational frequencies, with 1 being simply alive and 1000 in an advanced state of enlightenment. As it’s only natural, our level of consciousness can fluctuate and change due to multiple variables: what we eat, who we hang out with, and how we think are only a few examples.

Learning about what makes you happy and including more of that in your life is something that is far from silly. It is mandatory if you want to raise your consciousness and help humanity evolve as a kinder species.

For those who are interested in raising their consciousness, happiness is a realistic goal and a desirable one. It is rather impossible to be happy all the time, of course, and it is rather difficult to be in a pure state of bliss on a regular basis. However, we can aim to develop skills and strategies that enhance our level of consciousness. For instance, Horror films used to be my favorite genre of movies but I can’t watch them anymore because I don’t like the way I feel and think afterward. I no longer listen to heavy metal as I used to for the same reason.

I also like to plan my day and activities to make sure I manage my energy to the best of my ability. This allows me to experience a greater level of consciousness throughout the day and be a better person for myself and others. I know this can be a different and odd way to approach self-organization and life in general but I learned the hard way what is best for me and how I can be the best version of myself on a more regular basis. As a Sensitive person, I can only handle a certain amount of stimulation before I get tired and drained so I take energy management very seriously.

The pursuit of happiness is part of my toolbox to cope and recover my energy level. I like to add to my days what makes me feel good, not from a pure hedonistic point of view, but from a soul level. The list includes daily walks, listening to motivational talks, enjoying my surroundings, paying attention to natural motifs, reading a useful book chapter, and having a peaceful moment with coffee in the morning. As such, learning about what makes you happy and including more of that in your life is something that is far from wrong or silly. It is mandatory if you want to raise your consciousness and help humanity evolve as a kinder species.

Other blogs you may like to read:

What Is Positive Psychology? The Science of Well-being

Positive Psychology is a field of study within Psychology that focuses and promotes well-being and happiness. One of its goals is to help people live and perform at their best by putting people’s strengths and virtues to work for themselves and their community. Although it’s a relatively recent field, Positive Psychology has embraced and researched topics that have been promoted through other psychology branches such as Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology.

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What Is Positive Psychology? The Science of Well-being

Positive Psychology is a field of study within Psychology that focuses and promotes well-being and happiness. One of its goals is to help people live and perform at their best by putting people’s strengths and virtues to work for themselves and their community. Although it’s a relatively recent field, Positive Psychology has embraced and researched topics that have been promoted through other psychology branches such as Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology.

Positive Psychology is a field of study within Psychology that focuses and promotes well-being and happiness.

Some of the themes addressed by Positive Psychology include character strengths and virtues, positive emotion, resilience, growth mindset, positive relationships, and self-development. Positive Psychology does not deny the existence and importance of psychological issues. It offers instead an approach to problems that is solution-oriented and with a greater focus on what human beings need to thrive rather than only survive.

Thanks to the efforts of Positive Psychology researchers and educators, many models have been developed to describe how individuals may lead more fulfilling and happier lives. For instance, Martin Seligman, often considered the “father” of Positive Psychology, proposes a 5-element model of well-being and happiness that includes Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments. This model has been known as the “P.E.R.M.A.” model and it has been used worldwide. To learn more about it, please consult Martin Seligman’s book Flourish.

Flourishing has been a concept interchangeably used with human well-being in Positive Psychology. Human flourishing can be perceived as a complete state of emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It describes a broad range of states and relevant well-being outcomes such as mental and physical health, happiness and life satisfaction, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, and interpersonal relationships. People flourish when they experience positive emotions, positive mental states, and positive relationships with others.

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