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Humans are hard-wired to be curious. Evolutionarily speaking, animals (including humans), seek information that’s vital to ensuring their survival. When the human brain processes new information, its reward-related structures activate and people feel pleasure.

Whether you’ve got 10 minutes or an hour each day, or several times a week to pursue a hobby or learn a new skill, you’re benefiting your overall well-being.

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Try a New Sport

Is your workout a little weary? Spice it up by picking up a new sport! There is so much out there that will help you move and strengthen your body in new ways. Racket sports like tennis and racquetball build speed, strength and agility, and Harvard Health Publishing notes they challenge your mind, too. For that matter, any new sport will push you in fresh ways. Golf and softball build eye-hand coordination. Boxing builds power and confidence. And just learning something new will stretch you to learn. Think about something fun you’d like to try, and give it a whirl! 

Get in Touch With Your Inner Artist

There’s a reason why art therapy is a useful tool for helping stimulate the brain, foster communication, facilitate self-expression and even manage stress. Art takes many forms: pottery, photography, illustration, candle-making, jewelry-making, sewing, quilting, scrapbooking    the list goes on.

Many people have, over time, grown their hobbies into productive side gigs. But if “all” you do is crochet at night when you’re watching your favorite show, you’re relieving stress, giving your type-A perfectionist permission to chill and exploring a veritable feast of options. And since it can be a relatively inexpensive hobby, if you tire of one activity, you can try something else.

Go On Culinary Adventures

Cooking doesn’t have to be just a chore! Cooking offers a wide range of options for getting creative and having fun. From sweet to savory and main courses to appetizers and desserts    there’s something to pique everyone’s interest. Add the wide range of cultures and the associated specialties, and you could cook something new every day for a year and not even scratch the surface of gastronomic possibilities. And as Taste of Home points out, exploring various cuisines allows you to sample other parts of the world, right from your own kitchen!

Cooking is a meditation — when you’re kneading bread, chopping vegetables, or decorating a cake, you’ll slip into a zone that helps reduce stress. It’s also another hobby that lends itself well to a side business. 

Pursue a New Career

Whether your cupcakes and hors d’oeuvres are taking over your kitchen, your shelves are overflowing with art, or you simply can’t get enough of your new pastime, it may be time to put your passion into your paycheck instead of the other way around! There are plenty of outlets for a hobby business, such as Etsy, local boutiques or your own ecommerce store. You can take fitness to a new level by becoming a personal trainer, yoga instructor or coach.

Bear in mind that even though you started this for fun, if you turn it into a business you need to cover some practical points. Be sure to create a business plan outlining your budget and goals since it could come in handy if you decide to apply for a loan or grant. Also, when you register your business, consider an LLC. The structure provides asset protection and tax advantages, plus it’s easy to launch your New York LLC when you do so through an online service. With the tedium behind you, you can get back to having fun and earning money with your new hobby business!

Learning a hobby or skill adds spark to increase your personal satisfaction, which will flow into your family and work relationships and even enhance your professional life.

Hobbies relieve stress, encourage a break from life to recharge, promote a sense of purpose, offer different challenges, allow you to explore your talents and other interests, help prevent you from engaging in bad habits and build self-confidence and self-esteem.

This post was originally shared by Emma Grace Brown.

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