Winston Churchill was known as a great many things — UK Prime Minister, writer, orator. What you might not know is that he was also a painter. He didn't take up the hobby until he was in his 40s, but it became such an integral part of him that he even wrote a book about it — Painting as a Pastime. It details his love affair with the craft and how greatly it enriched his life.
Whether you want to rediscover an old pastime or take up a new one, here's why you should consider doing something creative. It's time to find yourself again and reignite your drive.
Relieves Stress And Makes You Happier
"I know of nothing which, without exhausting the body, more entirely absorbs the mind. Whatever the worries of the hour or the threats of the future, once the picture has begun to flow along, there is no room for them in the mental screen." - Winston Churchill
Nothing quite kills passion like stress.
Not only does it diminish your zest for life, it becomes a constant road block to achievement and living your life to its fullest.
Stress makes you tired, irritable and pressed for time. As a result, you find yourself not engaging with people or the things you love.
There are also psychological benefits. In a 2015 study by the Society of Behavioural Medicine, 100 adults were surveyed and given heart monitors to test their stress levels during their every day lives. Those who engaged in leisure activities were 34% less stressed during those time periods, as well as 18% less sad.
Interestingly, the activities themselves didn't really matter, so long as the participant was enjoying them.
Group related hobbies can also further help relieve stress in your life. They give you a chance to bond with others, thus providing social support.
For more on stress relief:
- 15 Scientifically Proven Ways To Vanquish Stress
- How To Reframe Your Stress And Anxiety Into Productivity
- Nine Strategies Successful People Use To Overcome Stress
Improve Your Work Life
"I should be glad if these lines induced others to try the experiment which I have tried, and if some at least were to find themselves dowered with an absorbing new amusement delightful to themselves..." - Winston Churchill
This article isn't supposed to be about work — but there's nothing wrong with your 9-5 benefiting from the joys of having a hobby.
At Google there is an 80/20 rule in place for their workers — they can spend 20% of their (work) time on passion projects — so long as it is benefiting the company.
This strategy may to be Google's gain, but that doesn't lessen the psychological lesson behind it — people are more creative when they're working on something they love.
A study conducted by San Francisco State in 2014 found that people with creative hobbies were more likely to also be creative in the workplace, as well as more collaborative and helpful.
The primary author of the study, Dr. Kevin Eschleman, stated that subjects of the study who had hobbies, talked about them passionately:
“They usually describe it as lush, as a deep experience that provides a lot of things for them.
“But they also talk about this idea of self-expression and an opportunity to really discover something about themselves, and that isn’t always captured with the current recovery experience models.”
This is great news. Having a hobby may not just improve your mood and satisfy your need for some personal or creative time while you're engaging with it. It may even bring more passion, purpose and positivity into other aspects of your life, including work.
For more on work:
- Finally Achieve Work-Life Balance With The 'Rule Of Four'
- The Main Causes Of Burnout (And How To Overcome Them)
- Front-Load Your Work Week To Reduce Stress
Become Motivated And Do More
"If you need something to occupy your leisure, to divert your mind from the daily round, to illuminate your holidays, do not be too ready to believe that you cannot find what you want here.
It would be a sad pity to shuffle or scramble along through one's playtime...wondering what on earth to do...when all the while, if you only knew, there is close at hand a wonderful new world of thought and craft." — Winston Churchill
I love Netflix as much as the next person — but do you really want to look back on your life and see that your free time was filled only with the creative pursuits of others?
Wouldn't you rather have some of your own achievements in there?
Hobbies give you the opportunity to fill your life with challenges, goals and something tangible to be proud of. They give you a purpose other than basic survival and "Work, make money, pay bills."
They give you the opportunity to learn new skills, have different experiences become a stronger person (mentally or physically, depending on the hobby) and meet people.
You never know, one day you may even be able to turn it into a side hustle or a career. But remember, it's okay if it's just something you do for fun. Not everything has to be about turning a profit.
Life is for living, not watching — so get off the couch and become the proper protagonist of your (life).
For more on life and motivation: