If you have a lack of hobbies, you will usually notice this empty space that needs filling and will often make you feel a little hollow. Work is a wonderful thing to bury yourself in, as is family, and the two can absolutely make for a satisfying life. However, a hobby that you practice for fun and fascination can greatly color your life in a myriad of wonderful ways.
But why take part in a hobby? What is your intent behind that practice? There are any number of reasons behind taking up a hobby you enjoy.
- You might want to fill your mind with positive activities every day
- Get really good at something you enjoy
- Desire to develop in a manner that most pleases you
Are hobbies simply time fillers, something that is used to get out of the continual cycle of career and family? Or could it lead to something more? Could it enrich you in ways you might not have thought possible?
If you were asked to define the benefits you might find in a hobby, what might you say? That learning new skills such as speaking a new language is rewarding in its own right? You’d be right. That the social aspect of partaking in a hobby can gift you a real sense of a shared journey? You’d also be right on the money. However, one of the more subtle effects of certain hobbies is the patience and goodwill they can teach you. This can carry over to many different areas in life, and can truly illuminate your general day to day activities.
The following hobbies are the most conducive to this, whilst also being incredibly rewarding in innumerable ways.
It might seem strange to see ‘tea’ on this list. Surely you could make a hobby out of consuming anything, review that product and then share in a community of like-minded aficionados? Well yes, but some hobbies encourage deeper thought and reflecting over the experience, and bring with them a ritual that could rival many other activities you take part in.
The art of tea drinking is something that has been practiced for thousands of years. It’s not difficult to understand why. The craft of creating tea from herbs, leaves, and many other ingredients has long since been a pinnacle of social cohesion, cultural and religious significance. In some religious doctrines around the world, the art of drinking tea is more about the meditation and the grace of social connection than it is comparing tasting notes. However, both sides are valid and could lend you a truly wonderful experience.
Tea is something that is intrinsically healthy, always soothing, and can serve as a wonderful lesson in patience and humility. For example, consider the centuries-old art of Japanese tea drinking. Here, a family or community will dress in their formal yet relaxing robes, culminate in a square formation around the border of a room. They will kneel down and pay respects to one another, and slowly serve the tea in cups custom crafting for and by each individual. The tea is slowly poured, and is slowly sipped on and consumed together in silence.
This ritual is akin to a true zen meditation, and can feel extremely rewarding for the spirit. Hurry is the word of opposition here, as patience is one of the most redeeming factors of the ceremony. Every movement is deliberate and paid attention to, and it is infused with the love and atmosphere of the room.
There are many cultural lessons to also find in this. For example, the pots that carry tea in these ceremonies are of course used over again and again, meaning that they are liable to break. Instead of throwing this out and using a new one, they continue to use the original repaired vessel.
This is due to a belief that something with age, experience and a set amount of suffering (symbolized by the cracks,) is all the more beautiful for that process. There’s certainly something you can learn, and this is only one ceremony with one style of herbal tea. But where do you get started? We’d recommend searching the World Tea Directory to search varieties, connect with communities and even register your own tea-inspired business in association with them.
This hobby has infinite depth, and is frankly one of the most relaxing in this entire list.
The art of tea drinking is of course a deep meditation that is worthy of your time. However, the art of actually sitting down without an activity and meditating deeply can affect you in a myriad of incredible ways. This is not for the faint-hearted. It takes gumption and a sense of diligence to do this.
Many people think meditation is simply sitting down and emptying your mind of thoughts. This is somewhat one of the end results, but not the actual work you’ll see someone performing on a mat. No one is static, so this can be a disconcerting way to think of meditation, as it makes you approach the hobby from the wrong angle. Instead, a seasoned meditator will focus on a select point that anchors them. This is usually their breath, but it could also be the blowing of the wind, the feeling on a certain spot of their arm, or anything with a relaxing and regular tempo. Breath is usually the best, because we all have it, and it has a fairly regular rhythm.
Focusing on your breath as it passes in and out can gift you the means to slowly, slowly, slowly, be able to settle your monkey mind and instead focus on the static nature of your body. This is excellent to help you feel more peaceful, calm and open to listening on a daily basis. Meditation is not running away from reality, but running into it without the continual and difficult filter of being tugged by emotions and your thoughts. You become peaceful, and open yourself up to real goodwill for yourself and others. This has been proven in soldiers, teachers, police officers and prisoners, so why not you too?
These two hobbies are by far the best, low pressure, amazingly worthwhile and continually rewarding you can ever take part in. If you have a stressful job, a chaotic family life, or generally need some time to rest yet stay productive, these hobbies could last you for years in their depth and enjoyment potential. Be sure to have fun!