Have you ever fallen in love with an activity aka a hobby, outlet, creative endeavour, or passion? I certainly have and I hope you have too, and that you know the joy of falling in love with such a thing at least once in your life.
Passions and hobbies provide people with an outlet for escape, personal expression and exploration, distraction, and meditation. It can change the way one views themselves, their loved ones, and the world around them. It can boost emotional wellbeing and, depending on the hobby, one’s physical health.

Even though we may have experienced this love – this “buzz” – many of us abandon our hobbies. We get too busy, we get married, we have babies all amazing things by the way!), and we spend time with our new friends; Netflix, Facebook and Instagram! I certainly fall in to this camp!

Have you ever heard the phrase “life got in the way”? Well aren’t the things you truly love part of your life as well?

My love was Salsa Dancing! But about 10 years ago I gave it up. Left it behind me. And I started on a new adventure with my husband. As amazing as my family and the happiness, love and fulfilment that comes with it is (and I would not give that up for the world) I still pined for my former love -Salsa.
So, when an old friend got in contact and invited me to their Salsa launch event I was pretty excited! Yes! Yes! Yes! The perfect motivator to entice me.
It was a little daunting and I asked myself “what if I don’t remember any of the moves?”, “what if I fall?”, “what if I don’t make any friends?!” Thankfully, I didn’t waste any time trying to answer these questions – and I just went for it!
The result? I had a blast! I danced, laughed, danced, talked a lot, danced some more and made some new connections.
And now, I cannot wait to go again! Thank you @Salsaculture – Live To Dance – for reuniting me with my former love…

Whether it’s gardening, chess, running or cooking – whatever it is that excites you, ignites a fire inside you, just go for it. It’s officially good for you, makes you happy and smarter!

Top 5 Reasons to get back to a hobby or find a new one…

1. Your hobbies encourage efficiency of time. Let’s face it – if you have scheduled a time for something or committed to something, you are more likely to get things done quicker in order to meet that commitment.
2. Your hobbies promote mindfulness. We often opt for passive leisure—TV and social media being top of the list. And although this R&R time is great, we are so much more invigorated by active leisure, the sort of thing psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow activities”. If you’ve ever lost yourself in a sport, art project, or other challenging, absorbing activity, you’ve experienced flow. Time flies, self-consciousness disappears, and you are fully immersed in the activity at hand.
3. Your hobbies can generally foster new social connections. Countless studies have found that social connection is a key component of happiness and a meaningful life. Your hobbies have the potential to create unexpected connections and friendships.
4. Your hobbies make you interesting. They add layers to your identity. People are attracted to those with passions and want to hear the stories you have to share. You not only feel more inspired yourself when you have a rich and active life, but you will also inspire others.
5. Your hobbies help you cope better with stress, make you happy and clever!

“Activities that require cognitive effort (e.g., reading, hobbies or learning a new language) may be especially important for cognitive health.… and cognitive functioning in late life.”

(Full article can be found here)