Your life’s muse

It’s important to have hobbies as they improve cognitive abilities and enrich our lives.

 

At the age of 40, Winston Churchill, the firebrand leader who helmed the United Kingdom during WWII, discovered the perfect antidote to his depression — painting. He passionately pursued this hobby, which brightened his days and left a trove of national treasures. In his book, Painting as a Pastime, Churchill writes, “Like a sea-beast fished up from the depths, or a diver too suddenly hoisted, my veins threatened to burst from the fall in pressure. I had great anxiety and no means of relieving it … And then it was that the Muse of Painting came to my rescue — out of charity and out of chivalry … and said, ‘Are these toys any good to you? They amuse some people.’”

This is the power of hobby. As children, we all engaged in extra-curricular activities like sports, music, dance and visual arts. But the hours spent on these enterprises are inversely proportionate to our age. By the time we reach adulthood, we stop all or most of these activities because of a perception that hobbies are the luxurious indulgences of the idle rich; an active pursuit of them will result in the dereliction of our duties.

Collective wisdom, however, says pastimes are perfect stressbusters. While work is what we must do, hobbies are what we want to do. They let you escape the daily hustle-bustle and allow your grey matter to recharge. Engaging in hobbies stimulates the brain to produce feelings of pleasure, happiness and satisfaction.

Hobbies also build self-esteem. After a workday spent feeling worthless, engaging in a favourite pastime will help you feel empowered. Sometimes hobbies challenge you — as you overcome the hurdles, your confidence grows. You will carry over this positivity to your personal and professional lives.

Creative juices overflow when you regularly hobbyhorse. An ignited mind thinks of new solutions to problems, be it at work or home. Remember, a heightened problem-solving ability is an asset in the workplace. Hobbies can also complement our jobs — civil engineers can use their skills to renovate their homes and statisticians can use their acumen while playing cards. These hobbyists simply take parts of work they enjoy and place them in non-stressful environments.

Hobbies encourage you to discover new people with similar interests and mindsets. As social beings, we want to be part of a community and interact with fellow human beings. The joy these interactions bring will have a positive effect on your mental health.

A new hobby will improve your skills. Hobbies are also a great source of revenue — many bakers began cooking as a hobby. You’ll never know what change your newly acquired skills will bring about, and before long you may also consider changing your career!

Hobbies make your life richer, mind sharper and downtime more enjoyable. You must develop a hobby or two so that you will have something rewarding to do with your spare time instead of guzzling cans of beer while watching the Blue Jays play.

 

 

Nithya Caleb | DBPC Blog