Why Everyone Needs Hobbies
Hobbies are important, they are not just for the bored or retired but are for everyone. They are good for us too. Perhaps surprisingly,it is not just sports or other physical hobbies such as running or yoga that are good for our health. This is because hobbies benefit our mental health by allowing us to experience eustress. This is the positive form of stress rather than the negative; distress. This is the same type of stress that comes from other exciting and/or consuming activities such as new beginnings like getting married or having a child. Or of taking part in something exciting like an adventure; climbing a mountain, traveling, or riding a rollercoaster. Eustress, or positive stress, enhances rational thinking, assists with emotional balance, and helps you have focused attention. It is a way of achieving mindfulness or flow; in other words, it aids you in being totally in the present. This supports health and wellbeing by helping you to feel rested and able to cope with whatever life throws at you.
Hobbies also provide new opportunities for social interactions, whether it is doing something with another person or people, meeting other people with the same hobby, or simply having something engaging and interesting to talk about. Something else that may surprise you about hobbies, according to Jaime L Kurtz P.H.D, writing for Psychology Today, is that they can help you with time management. This is because when you have something you look forward to doing you will get your other tasks; work, housework, errands accomplished quicker. So, instead of thinking that you don’t have time for a hobby you should tip that idea on its head and see having a hobby as actually giving you time.
Why Family Tree Research Makes a Great Hobby
The benefits of choosing family history research as your next hobby are numerous. First of all, it involves reading. As part of your research, you will do a lot of reading which boosts cognitive function and encourages mindfulness. It is also like treasure hunting, searching for a nugget of information, piecing together a puzzle which in itself gives you that feeling of accomplishment that is a boost to your mental wellbeing. But instead of being an abstract puzzle, a picture of something unrelated to you, it is instead about your roots, your history, what makes you who you are. This further adds to your feeling of wellbeing. Studies have shown that people, in particular children, who know more about their family history are better able to cope with problems that life may throw their way.
You can also incorporate getting active into your family tree research, by visiting places that you discover that your ancestors lived and walking in their footsteps. Walking has many health benefits, some that you will be aware of such as burning calories, but there are also benefits that you may not be aware of such as giving your immune system a boost (more important than ever in the current climate), helping to curb sugar cravings and even helping to prevent breast cancer.
The social benefits of tracing your family tree are also numerous. Not only does it give you new and interesting topics to talk about with family and friends but it also provides the opportunity to meet with other budding genealogists and, of course, particularly if you use an ancestral DNA testing kit, gives you the opportunity to connect with relatives that you find on your family history journey.