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Feeling happy implies that you are satisfied with where you are in life, with no resentment or remorse. However, long-term happiness comes from within – no material goods will make you happy for the rest of your life.
Hobbies are one of the things that naturally conjure feelings of happiness and fulfillment.
Simple daily activities such as gardening, meditation, dancing, or photography have the power to boost our happiness hormones production, improving our mood, and instilling a sense of joy.
But, how to find hobbies that make you happy?
Here are five great strategies to find hobbies that will increase your optimism and improve your sense of purpose and well-being.
Written by Natasha Tanic – Psychologist
Think About Your Goal for Finding a New Hobby
Most commonly, we find hobbies to keep us engaged and happy. However, think about other motives for finding a hobby.
For example, if you want to learn a new skill, your ideal choice would involve hobbies like photography, graphic design, learning a new language, or playing the guitar.
Furthermore, if your goal is relaxation, you may want to consider hobbies such as mindfulness meditation, journaling, gardening, coloring, or listening to music.
Then again, if your main goal is to keep fit, you may want to try dancing classes, running, hiking, or joining a cycling group in your community.
Turn a Part of Your Daily Routine into a Hobby
Even if you don’t have activities that you consider hobbies, there are some pleasurable activities you do every day that can be transformed into hobbies.
For example, if you enjoy cooking meals for your family, turn a cooking chore into your new hobby. Sign up for online cooking classes or find exciting recipes and culinary tutorials online. Then, throw a cooking party with your family and friends at home to make things more enjoyable.
If you enjoy reading books, join a book club at the library in your neighborhood. Or become a part of a local hiking group if you enjoy spending time in nature.
Try New Things
The best way to discover a hobby that will make you happy is to try new things and see what best suits your needs and interests. You must be willing to take classes, explore your interests, and join groups where you can try new things if you want to find a hobby you enjoy.
Connect with people who share your interests and try to learn new skills.
The more you put yourself out there, the more likely it is that you will find the perfect hobby that will fulfill you. And there’s an added bonus: you’ll learn a lot and meet interesting people along the way!
Rethink Your Childhood Hobbies
Reassessing your childhood interests is another excellent way to find hobbies that make you happy.
Think about the things you enjoyed doing before adulthood.
We naturally engage in hobbies when we are young, simply following our curiosity and things that catch our attention.
However, as school, work, and life get in the way, many of our interests subside.
Or we will just have far less time for hobbies.
What Were Your Childhood Favorite Activities?
Did you have a lot of fun dressing up and pretending to be someone else?
Then it would help if you considered joining a local theater troupe.
Or have you ever spent hours painting, drawing, or molding clay sculptures?
If this is the case, you should think about enrolling in art classes.
So, revising your childhood pastimes can be a great way to find a hobby that will make you happy.
Consider Activities That Boost Your Confidence
When thinking about hobbies that will make you happy, consider all those activities you feel good doing.
So, when exploring new hobbies, mindfully observe how they make you feel.
For example, does learning a new language make you feel pleased with yourself?
Are you good at singing? Do your family and friends praise your culinary skills, always looking forward to your cooking parties?
Psychologists claim that when we engage in activities that we perform best, we feel encouraged, self-assured, and happy.
Why? Because when we fully engage in a hobby that enhances our confidence, the centers of the brain responsible for gratification and innovation are activated rather than the parts of the brain responsible for assessment, judgment, and over-analyzing.
Activities that we are good at can improve our mood and alleviate anxiety and depression by providing a useful distraction from negative thoughts.
Taking up new hobbies not only improves your mood and happiness, but it also makes you more flexible, capable of growth, and open to new opportunities in life.