We all have a hobby we enjoy, perhaps even one that we’re passionate about. Whether you like tinkering around with cars, putting together model airplanes and cars, writing fiction, gardening, or playing a sport, hobbies can make your life a whole lot more enjoyable.
But did you know that having a hobby may actually help you to live longer?
How Hobbies Increase Your Lifespan
In the scientific journal Psychological Science, a new article was published highlighting the findings of research into how having a purpose in life can help you to live longer.
Over the course of the study, researchers interviewed over 6,000 adults from all walks of life. The questions asked were all aimed at discovering whether or not these adults felt that they had a purpose or direction for their lives. Of the people who said that they did have a purpose in their lives, all of them experienced a reduced risk of death in the 14 years immediately following the study. The researchers monitored the participants, and those who had a purpose had a longer lifespan with a lower mortality rate.
Interestingly enough, not all of the participants were senior citizens. Many of them were very young adults, and the study proved that having a purpose is necessary for young people as well as for older people.
Now, how does this study have anything to do with hobbies? Simple: when you have a hobby, you actively seek to work at it, spend time doing it, and improve your skills in that area. Hobbies give you a purpose outside of work and family, something that you personally feel passionate about. It doesn’t matter what type of hobby it is, but just having a hobby that you can pursue will help you to feel more content with your life overall.
Why having a purpose helps you to live longer, the researchers still aren’t sure. It could have a lot to do with the single most important organ in your body: the brain.
See, when you do something that you enjoy, your brain tends to release chemicals that make you feel good. These chemicals don’t just make you feel happy and improve your mood, but they can also balance out your hormones, fight stress, improve heart health, and even give your immune system a boost. Basically, feeling good can make you feel a whole lot healthier!
Just because having hobbies helps you to live longer, that doesn’t mean you MUST go out and search for a hobby that you can take up today. You shouldn’t feel pressured into finding a hobby, as that isn’t the point of this article.
The point is that you SHOULD do the things you love when you can. If you have a hobby that makes you happy or that you enjoy, do them! Spend more time on them when possible, and try to bring others into your circle to enjoy the hobby with you.
Once you’ve found that hobby, don’t be content with just doing it occasionally. Find a way to improve your skills in that area, and make goals to work towards. That working towards something will give you the purpose that you not only need, but which will extend your lifespan and reduce your mortality rate. Set aside time every day or every week to improve your skills, and don’t allow anything to stop you from spending time on your hobby. It will not only make you much happier, but it can help to make you a whole lot healthier as well!