Your resume and CV would have one sub-point reserved for ‘Hobbies’. Have you wondered why? Hobbies would often tell the employer what type of a person you are – happy, creative, intense, extrovert, introvert and so on; it would also indicate whether you allow creativity a free hand – a thing that is extremely important in personal and professional growth no matter what field you choose for yourself.
The founder of modern psychiatry, Sigmund Freud had pointed that mental disorders are more often than not the result of unrealized and un-integrated (with life) creativity. People who are normally forced into “successful” and demanding professions often choose to give up their hobbies or leisure time in order to further their career. The demands on their time being such, they rather take rest than indulge in their hobbies whenever a window of free time emerges. When there is no more time for fun, in walks anxiety uninvited and unwanted; and that is always bad news.
Leading psychiatrists are of the opinion that hobbies and leisure time occupations such as watching TV, gossiping with neighbors, walking in a park, learning a new language and so on, actually help your mind and body to de-stress. The process is simple – when you do something you love, your mind would shut off the problems that worry you and revel in the pleasure generated by the activity you enjoy. When your mind is off problems, your body relaxes and your mind is able to think with more clarity. This means you short-circuit an impending anxiety attack and are very likely to find a solution to your problems. Isn’t that called a win-win situation?
Some people know what gives them pleasure to do – and cultivate this activity as a hobby or leisure time occupation. What about people who are undecided about what they would really like to do? If you are surprised at this, don’tbe. There are many people out there who have never thought about it hard enough to identify what they would like to do for pleasure. Well, finding out is easy. Ask yourself this question, ‘If I had all the money in the world and did not have to work for a living, what work would give me the most pleasure?’ Do not look for one answer – because there would be many swimming in your mind and if you are looking for one answer you would be disappointed enough to stop searching.
Make a list of all the possibilities that pop up in your mind. Stop when you reach 20. Keep the list where you can see it every day. Give yourself a month to identify what you love to do. In the meantime, take out the list everyday and add or delete suggestions from it, aiming to narrow it down to 10 favorite activities – if you can reduce to less it would be even better. Once you have a list of 10 items prioritize these in order of your preference, the best one first. Now, the list would be do-able. Establish a time at least once a week where you would take up one or more of the activities on your list. Keep doing this until you identify what gives you the most pleasure among them all. Please keep in mind that you could choose more than one hobby.
Here are some examples of creative and fun-filled hobbies:
2. Creative writing – poems, snippets, how-to books, short stories, chicken-soup stuff, memoirs
3. Painting/ learning to paint
4. Drawing cartoons/ animation/ sketching
5. Model building – ships, airplanes, cars, buildings, and the like
6. Traveling to see the world
7. Traveling to learn about different customs and people
8. Historical traveling
9. Traveling to discover the taste of the world – for food lovers
10. Cooking/ baking
11. Stitching/ embroidering/ tailoring
12. Swimming/ skiing/ ice-skating/ any outdoor sport you love
13. Indoor sports – chess, carom, bowling, table tennis, billiards
14. Chatting on the Net
15. Surfing the Net
16. Singing/ playing an instrument/ learning to sing or play an instrument
17. Woodworking/ carpentry
18. Mechanic work/ working on cars, motorcycles
19. Horse riding
20. Training animals
These are only a handful of things you could do. The list is endless. You need to allow yourself enough time to identify the one or two activities that give you the most pleasure. Once you found it out, pour in all efforts to make it a full-time hobby. Ensure that every weekend you have a couple of hours reserved for your ‘battery re-charging time’ when you indulge in your pleasure.
You will find that as you channel your creativity into the chosen hobby(ies) you would feel more relaxed, tolerant of your mistakes and those of others, slower to anger and worry, and more productive. This is because when you are happy, your brain actually works more effectively. As you cannot cry and laugh at the same time, so you would not be able to feel anxious and relaxed at the same time. As your hobby would take root and you discover yourself through it, you would find that your anxiety or panic attacks become lesser and lesser both in intensity and number.
Author: Ian Spencer. Click Here to grab your FREE Stress Relief Manifesto Report.
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