Everyone, at one point or another, experiences periods of almost no motivation in life. It feels as if you’ve got nothing to really fight for, and you may find yourself wondering why you even should get out of bed in the morning. In times like these, you have to ask yourself: what motivates you? The answer is often surprisingly simple.
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1. Happiness Is A Powerful Motivator
For most people, motivation actually comes from something that makes them happy, and that’s where the trouble can come in. It’s all too easy to feel incomplete. You’re not happy at your job, you’re currently single and still looking, none of your friendships have truly deep connections – whatever is happening, you’ve hit a wall that you can’t climb over. While you may not be able to land that perfect job, find the perfect mate or forge a real friendship, you can do something else, namely, get a hobby.
While that may sound silly at first, when you find something you love to do that brings you joy, it can become a powerful force in your life, propelling you forward. Check out these six reasons why having a hobby matters when it comes to a fulfilled, happy life.
2. It Will Let You Express Your Creativity
If you’re a slave to routine – going to your job, coming home at night and going to bed – you’re in dire need of an activity that lets you escape and leaves you alone with your thoughts. Maybe you are already trying meditation each day, but that’s less of a hobby and more of a practice. Depending on your mindset right now, meditation could feel more like a burden that isn’t helping, especially if you feel trapped.
Aim for a hobby that lets you get back in touch with your inner artist. It doesn’t matter if you’re not amazing at it, either, since it’s less about the results and more about how it makes you feel. Knitting, painting, making jewelry, gardening or any activity related to creation will help you express your creative side in a way that your regular life isn’t affording currently. Let your inner artist free and you may just be surprised by the results.
3. It Can Help You Clarify Your Thoughts
Most hobbies actually have a meditative effect on your thoughts. This is because, no matter what you are doing, from walking to yoga, your awareness becomes completely focused on it. This allows you to shut out all of the negative thoughts you were having before. In some ways, when your hobby merges awareness and action, it becomes a meditation in motion of its own.
4. There’s Opportunity For Socialization
When you have a hobby, you get the ability to interact with other people who share that same interest, giving you connections that aren’t shallow. It’s a foot in the door and a way to bond with someone else fairly quickly. You can also experience the satisfaction of sparking and participating in discussions as a member of a group, which has benefits of its own and share your accomplishments with people who are truly interested in and supportive of them.
Some hobbies offer built-in connections, like knitting circles or cooking classes. But others may require a little more digging. If you want to read, for example, find a local book club or book club online. If you’re into painting, you can look for local painting classes, as these will allow you to connect with people on the same journey as you. When all else fails, you can take charge and start an online group of your own for your hobby. Running such a group can become a hobby of its own, so don’t let fear or uncertainty deter you from starting one should you decide to.
5. It Can Boost Your Confidence
When you discover that you are good at something other than the routine of your daily life, you may find that you value yourself more as a person. This is true no matter what the hobby is. Whether you finished a particularly difficult book to read for your book club or learned a hard pattern for your knitting project, you’ll enjoy a sense of accomplishment and personal growth that can do wonders for your own confidence and feelings of self-worth. Keep challenging yourself to improve and become more confident in your skills in all areas of your life.
6. It’s A Stress-Buster
Life does have its up and downs, no matter who you are. But when you are deeply into a hobby, however, you will get some relief. It’s like being in a zone where stress can’t take up residence. When you let yourself become completely immersed in a hobby, you’ll give yourself an outlet for stress that is almost automatic. Make a space in your house for your hobby to help add to that “safe zone” effect. This will be the area where much of your hobby activity happens, and you will start experiencing a sense of calm by just being in that room after a while.
How To Take Your New Hobby By The Horns
The first challenge will be finding a hobby that works for you. The best approach is to think of something that you liked or had an interest in, but not something that you are already good at it. You want something that will not be easy to accomplish to give you room to grow, and it should also occupy the forefront of your free time for a while.
You may, at the beginning, experience a fear of change and a fear of failure. This is entirely natural and something you’ll need to work through. Don’t fall for the excuses your mind may supply you because of these fears, such as not having enough time or not being good or smart enough. To make your life better, you will need to take action, and all the excuses in the world won’t change that fact.
Your new hobby will take commitment. It’s not even something that you just do in your free time, either; you may actually need to free up your time for it. Draft an action plan so you’re not tempted to give into any of the reasons for avoiding the hobby that your mind is presenting you. Remember that, as with any new venture, you may fail at times or not progress as quickly as you like. Don’t let failure or slow growth deter you, as the best things in life are often worth working hard toward.
Having a hobby can open a lot of doors for you in life when it comes to your happiness. You can meet new people, gain some confidence, visit new places and learn things you never knew before. And you don’t have to limit yourself to just one, although you may want to start off with just one if you’ve never really had a hobby before.