How Having a Hobby
Benefits Your Brain
Our days are crammed with chores like commuting, working, meal prepping, laundry, grocery shopping, and so much more. Where can we fit in activities and hobbies that we actually want to do? The answer is almost too simple - you have to make the time. Cut down on your TV time, or that extra nap to fit in time for your hobby. Having a hobby does so much more than simply keeping you entertained – it also helps to benefit your brain health!
When you think of a hobby, the ‘typical’ hobbies you may think of include gardening, yoga, baking, scrapbooking, knitting, fishing, etc. All of the mentioned will be helping your brain by keeping it engaged and active. But, do your brain even more of a favor and expand your list of hobbies! Are you already an avid football fan? Expand your knowledge beyond that, and try checking out something totally new – such as baseball, tennis, or even NASCAR!
Now, just how does having a hobby benefit your brain health?
- Planning and Organizing. When you find time to partake in your pastime, it will take planning and organizational skills – clearly you use your brain for that! Just how do we plan to fit in our hobby? It’s different for everyone. Find the system that works for you. Instead of forcing yourself into a certain scheduling process right away, try out different approaches. Are you more creative? Create a color-coded calendar with your own unique designs and personal touches. Are you more to-the-point? Create a spreadsheet. In the end, as long as you find that you are making time for your hobby, that’s the approach that works best for you.
- Concentration. Depending on what your hobby is, it could use a fair amount of concentration skills. Something like knitting or scrapbooking requires you to focus on what you’re doing. When you are completely concentrated on something, you are actually doing your brain a favor. If you find yourself getting distracted, or bouncing from task to task, you may find that it’s harder to decide, or even recall. That’s because your brain is using up too much ‘fuel’ and energy when it’s trying to bounce between tasks. Your brain will thank you when you are concentrating on your hobby of choice.
- Move your body. Some hobbies even give your body a workout. Gardening, dancing, or hiking all get your body moving and your blood flowing. On top of the physical benefits, moving your body can also help you by maintaining fine motor skills, improving concentration skills, and supporting brain health!
- Never stop learning. Hobbies encourage you to learn and engage with others; they inspire you to reach out to others with the same hobby and learn more about the best ways to do what you do. If you don’t already know, the power of socialization is endless. Learning from others will affect your serotonin, influencing your mood, behavior, memory, and of course – learning. All a recipe for good brain health!
Now that you know how having a hobby benefits your brain, go on and put it into action! For example, start your new NASCAR hobby this weekend by watching Josh Bilicki race the Prevagen #45 car at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 3rd!