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Top 10 Hobbies that Everyone can do to Happify their Life


Hobbies can range from traditional activities such as painting, photography, and sports to more unique ones like birdwatching, rock collecting, train spotting, and chessboxing (yes, this is a hobby). The number of hobbies is constantly expanding and evolving as new interests and activities emerge. As such, the number of hobbies available is unlimited.

However, 10 hobbies are known to happify your life and are easier to start. These 10 hobbies are:


1. Photography.

Photography can increase happiness in several ways:

  • Provides a Creative Outlet: Photography allows individuals to express their creativity and imagination, leading to increased self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment.

  • Captures Memories: Photography allows individuals to capture memories and special moments, leading to increased feelings of nostalgia and happiness.

  • Enhances Mindfulness: Taking photographs can encourage individuals to focus on the present moment and appreciate the beauty in the world around them, leading to increased mindfulness and well-being.

  • Builds Connections: Sharing photographs with others can create opportunities for social connection, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Encourages Exploration: Photography can encourage individuals to explore new places and try new experiences, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

Overall, photography can increase happiness by providing a creative outlet, capturing memories, enhancing mindfulness, building connections, and encouraging exploration.



2. Gardening.

Connecting with nature by planting and caring for a garden can bring a sense of peace and fulfillment. Gardening can increase happiness in the following ways:

  • Provides a sense of accomplishment: Gardening allows individuals to cultivate plants and create a beautiful outdoor space, leading to a sense of accomplishment and pride.

  • Increases physical activity: Gardening is a physical activity that can improve physical health and reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.

  • Connects with nature: Gardening provides an opportunity to connect with nature, leading to increased well-being and happiness.

  • Promotes mindfulness: Gardening requires focus on the present moment and can promote mindfulness, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Provides a source of relaxation: Gardening can be a calming and relaxing activity, reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety and increasing overall well-being.

  • Creates opportunities for social connection: Gardening can provide opportunities for social connection and bonding with others, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Provides a source of fresh food: Gardening allows individuals to grow their own food, leading to improved health and increased happiness.

Overall, gardening can increase happiness by providing a sense of accomplishment, increasing physical activity, connecting with nature, promoting mindfulness, providing a source of relaxation, creating opportunities for social connection, and providing a source of fresh food.



3. Reading.

Escaping into a good book can bring a sense of relaxation and improve overall well-being. Reading can increase happiness in several ways:

  • Enhances Empathy: Reading can increase empathy and understanding of others, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Provides Escapism: Reading can provide an escape from the stresses of daily life, leading to increased happiness and relaxation.

  • Increases Knowledge: Reading can increase knowledge and improve cognitive function, leading to increased feelings of accomplishment and self-esteem.

  • Promotes Relaxation: Reading can be a calming and relaxing activity, reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety and increasing overall well-being.

  • Enhances Imagination: Reading can stimulate imagination and creativity, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

Overall, reading can increase happiness by enhancing empathy, providing escapism, increasing knowledge, promoting relaxation, and enhancing imagination.



4. Painting or Drawing.

Engaging in a creative activity can bring a sense of accomplishment and joy.

  • Painting or drawing can help with happiness by providing a creative outlet for self-expression, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving mental well-being. Engaging in art can stimulate the release of feel-good hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, which can improve mood and boost happiness. Additionally, creating art can provide a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem, as individuals see the results of their hard work and creativity.

  • Painting or drawing can also be a form of mindfulness and meditation, allowing individuals to focus on the present moment and let go of stress and worries. It can provide a space for individuals to escape the demands of daily life and explore their imagination, leading to a sense of calm and inner peace.

Overall, painting or drawing can provide a fun and fulfilling hobby that can improve mental and emotional well-being, boost happiness, and enhance overall quality of life.



5. Yoga or Meditation.

Practicing mindfulness and self-care through yoga or meditation can help reduce stress and increase happiness.

Yoga and Meditation can help increase happiness by promoting relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving overall physical and mental well-being. These practices have been shown to increase levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin, reduce inflammation, and improve sleep quality. Regular practice of yoga or meditation can also help to increase self-awareness, improve focus and concentration, and reduce negative thoughts and feelings. By creating a sense of calm and inner peace, yoga and meditation can help individuals develop a more positive outlook on life, build resilience, and increase overall happiness and satisfaction.



6. Cooking or Baking.

Experimenting with new recipes and creating meals can be a fun and fulfilling hobby. Cooking or baking can increase happiness in several ways:

  • Provides a sense of accomplishment: Successfully preparing a meal or baked good can lead to a sense of accomplishment and pride.

  • Improves creativity: Cooking and baking provide opportunities for creative expression and experimentation, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Provides a source of relaxation: The repetitive and meditative nature of cooking or baking can provide a source of relaxation and stress relief.

  • Connects with others: Cooking and baking can provide opportunities for social connection and bonding with friends, family, and loved ones, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Promotes self-care: Taking the time to cook or bake for oneself or others can be a form of self-care, promoting overall well-being and happiness.

  • Improves physical health: Cooking and baking with fresh, healthy ingredients can improve physical health and increase overall happiness.

  • Brings joy through taste and smell: The enjoyment of the taste and aroma of home-cooked or baked food can bring joy and happiness to individuals.

Overall, cooking or baking can increase happiness by providing a sense of accomplishment, improving creativity, providing a source of relaxation, connecting with others, promoting self-care, improving physical health, and bringing joy through taste and smell.



7. Hiking or Outdoor Activities.

Spending time in nature can help reduce stress and bring a sense of peace and joy. Hiking or participating in outdoor activities can increase happiness in several ways:

  • Improves physical health: Hiking or participating in outdoor activities provides physical exercise, leading to improved physical health and increased happiness.

  • Increases exposure to nature: Spending time in nature can have a calming effect and reduce stress levels, leading to increased happiness.

  • Provides a source of relaxation: The repetitive and meditative nature of hiking or outdoor activities can provide a source of relaxation and stress relief.

  • Connects with others: Hiking or participating in outdoor activities with friends, family, or loved ones can provide opportunities for social connection and bonding, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Improves mood: Regular exposure to natural light and outdoor environments can improve mood, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Boosts creativity: Engaging in outdoor activities and exposure to natural environments can provide opportunities for creative expression and experimentation, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Provides a sense of accomplishment: Successfully completing a hike or outdoor activity can lead to a sense of accomplishment and pride, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

Overall, hiking or participating in outdoor activities can increase happiness by improving physical health, increasing exposure to nature, providing a source of relaxation, connecting with others, improving mood, boosting creativity, and providing a sense of accomplishment.



8. Playing a Musical Instrument.

Learning to play a musical instrument can bring a sense of accomplishment and contentment. Playing a musical instrument can increase happiness in several ways:

  • Provides a sense of accomplishment: Successfully playing a musical instrument can lead to a sense of accomplishment and pride.

  • Improves creativity: Playing a musical instrument provides an opportunity for creative expression and experimentation, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Provides a source of relaxation: The repetitive and meditative nature of playing an instrument can provide a source of relaxation and stress relief.

  • Connects with others: Playing music with others can provide opportunities for social connection and bonding, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Promotes self-expression: Playing an instrument allows individuals to express themselves through music, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Improves cognitive function: Regular practice of playing an instrument can improve cognitive function and brain health, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Brings joy through sound: The enjoyment of creating music can bring joy and happiness to individuals.

Overall, playing a musical instrument can increase happiness by providing a sense of accomplishment, improving creativity, providing a source of relaxation, connecting with others, promoting self-expression, improving cognitive function, and bringing joy through sound.



9. Volunteer Work.

Helping others through volunteer work can increase happiness by promoting a sense of fulfillment and purpose, strengthening social connections, and boosting feelings of self-worth and empathy. When individuals help others, they often experience a phenomenon known as the "helper's high," which is characterized by a release of feel-good hormones like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. Volunteering, donating to charity, or simply lending a helping hand to friends, family, or strangers can provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, knowing that one's actions have made a positive impact on others. Additionally, helping others can also foster a greater sense of community, leading to stronger relationships and increased social support.

Moreover, helping others can increase one's empathy and compassion, leading to a greater sense of interconnectedness and a more positive outlook on life. By shifting focus from one's own concerns and problems to those of others, individuals can gain a new perspective and find greater happiness and satisfaction.


In summary, helping others can have a profound impact on happiness by promoting a sense of purpose, strengthening relationships, and boosting feelings of empathy and self-worth.



10. Travel.

Exploring new places and experiencing different cultures can bring a sense of adventure and broaden your perspective on life. Traveling can increase happiness in several ways:

  • Provides new experiences: Traveling provides individuals with new experiences, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Enhances Mindfulness: Traveling encourages individuals to focus on the present moment and appreciate the world around them, leading to increased mindfulness and well-being.

  • Creates Memories: Traveling allows individuals to create memories and special moments, leading to increased feelings of nostalgia and happiness.

  • Builds Connections: Traveling provides opportunities for social connection, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

  • Encourages Personal Growth: Traveling exposes individuals to new cultures and ways of life, leading to increased self-awareness and personal growth.

  • Reduces Stress: Traveling can provide a break from the stresses of daily life, leading to increased happiness and well-being.

Overall, traveling can increase happiness by providing new experiences, enhancing mindfulness, creating memories, building connections, encouraging personal growth, and reducing stress.


Conclusion

Hopefully, you are already doing one or more of these hobbies. If none of these hobbies or the thousands that currently exist appeal to you, then don’t be afraid to start your own hobby. While not all hobbies will help you to become more productive, all hobbies that you enjoy seem to improve your happiness. Added benefits of doing a hobby you enjoy include lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, improving your overall physical health, and increased longevity. I consider hobbies an important part of self-love. So, what are you waiting for, start a new hobby or spend more time doing hobbies you enjoy.


Written by Aldrin V. Gomes, PhD, FCVS, FAHA


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