Finding a new hobby could have health benefits

By Justin Adams

It’s now 2015, and even though the New Year is already a couple of weeks old, it’s still not too late to indulge in the time-honored tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. In fact, you can make goals of self-improvement no matter what time of the year it is. There are all kinds of goals that you can make, from the cliché going to the gym more often, or to reaching a life milestone such as graduation. But there is one type of goal that I believe to be the most important: that of pursuing a new hobby.

Hobbies in general are becoming something of the past. Our lives are already filled with classes, homework, working, relationships and occasionally sleeping. When we do have a spare moment, it is all too easy to spend it on the endless entertainment and media that’s right at our fingertips.

I wonder if the world in which we live today, with all its distractions, could produce a Shakespeare or a Mozart or a van Gogh. I do not doubt that there are any number of people who could become a great writer or musician. I only fear that so many people are busy pursuing their education and their careers, they never even see the potential they have. The next great photographer or singer/song-writer could be going to the U right now and not even know it if they’ve never picked up a camera or a guitar.

Of course, the end goal of pursuing a new hobby shouldn’t be to become rich and famous. For most people, a hobby is just something they enjoy doing for the sake of the thing itself. Such hobbies are still very beneficial. Studies have shown that people who apply their leisure time to some creative or recreational outlet are less likely to have stress and more likely to have more fulfilling lives.

Most importantly, a hobby is just something you do that makes you happy. I hate to break it to you, but we all have a long lifetime of work and stress ahead of us. It will make things much easier if we can come home from work at night and practice the piano/crochet/polish our coin collection. Sure, it’s not easy to start a new hobby while going to school, but it will likely never get easier than it is right now. So think about that thing that you’ve always wanted to try but were too embarrassed or busy or whatever, and make it a goal in 2015 to give it a try. You never know, you might become the world’s next big thing. If not, you’ll at least be a little more well-rounded, more interesting and less stressed.

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