Hobbies and Happiness

Start Enjoying Life Again

Hobbies are not just excuses to get you away from the kids, spouse or work. They are actually great activities that help create the feel good chemicals in our brains needed for healthy mood production. However, often times when we get busy, married, or have children leaving hobbies to be one of those sidelined activities.   

The definition of a hobby from Dictionary.com is “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.” Thereby, by definition engaging “regularly” in these behaviors in order to gain “pleasure” in life is essential.  

So I ask ‘why are you not engaging in a hobby?’

At this point most of us have a laundry list of excuses of why we cannot partake in something we enjoy but at the same time wonder why life feels lackluster.  Well I am here to tell you that our day-to-day activities contribute to our mood and our mood contributes to our thoughts and our thoughts contribute to our overall feeling in life.  

You may be thinking at this moment, ‘well if I had knew all this then I probably would do ____(fill in the blank) more often.’ 

Now that you know hobbies are a fundamental part of happiness you may wonder what hobby is right for you? Great question!! Hobbies tap into your personality, natural creativity and are very satisfying. If the activity feels like work, you feel that you are not very good at it or in the end you don’t feel better then when you started, this may not be the right activity for you. 

What are some common pleasing hobbies:

  • Recreational – fishing, hunting, skiing, camping, parks, community volunteering, comedy clubs, dancing
  • Intellectual – reading, writing, editing, product creation, attending/teaching a seminar
  • Sports – golf, swimming, tennis, basketball, football, volleyball, running, working out
  • Crafting – crochet/knitting, sewing, needlepoint, drawing, painting
  • Technological – Web development/design

Hopefully you can see at least one activity on this list that you used to enjoy and are willing to reactivate in your life.  If not, then with any luck the list at least gets your mind going where you can come up with your own activity.

Start today and stay tuned for more tips!! 

2019 Healthy Kickstart

You Are What You Eat!

With each passing year the struggle to remain healthy may feel as if it is slipping right out of your grip.  Most of what we have learned to this point about diets does not sound like much fun and it seems that being healthy equates to being forever hungry.  

Well not so fast!!   

First off dieting is not a term I like to encourage or use as it feels like a short-term goal.  When I discuss health with clients I am often looking toward something long-term and sustainable such as a lifestyle change. However, without understanding the true purpose of each food group and the effects they have on your body one is not likely to be invested enough to make a change. 

So ask yourself why is food so important? 

I can find many reasons that food is fundamental in our lives. First and foremost, it is our fuel that helps our bodies to function.  Though most of us do not know the basic components of how food is broken down and utilized for fuel. Amino acids that are extracted from food are also used to create other essential chemicals in our brains crucial for mood control, sleep wake cycle, hormone control, menstrual regulation and others. 

The typical American diet is infused with high sugar, fat, refined grains and very little natural ingredients.  The drive-thru is the new kitchen table and family time is pulled straight from that paper bag! Our brains require vitamins, amino acids, and natural supplements gleamed from protein, healthy carbohydrates, vegetables and healthy fats. Often times processed foods have very little of what the body needs, however, it does exude things we do not which has been proven to lead to health related issues such as obesity, type II diabetes, body inflammation found in fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.  

Mental clarity is also lost or decreased with increased junk food.  In addition, those with an unhealthy eating style is more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety as their brain is not afforded the appropriate building blocks to produce needed neurotransmitters known to control mood function.  Ask yourself if your meal choices are poor and then ask “how do I feel?” Likely you are chronically fatigued, unmotivated, experience digestive issues, may have unexplained muscle or bone aches, and experience frequent forgetfulness.  Yes food can do all that to your body and more!

Yet, healthy eating and cooking does not have to be expensive, time consuming or overwhelming. It is actually very simple to combine an 8-10” plate with ½ whole vegetables, ¼ healthy protein and ¼ healthy carbohydrates.  Now how simple is that? May lost calories are in the sugary drinks, condiment and sauces and added bread/buns that are added to meals.  

Take a quick one-week challenge and remove all those mentioned items above from your meals making sure to weigh in before and after…

Key takeaways about food:

  • Eat to fuel not comfort
  • Limit sugars and processed foods (soda, candy, white bread/pasta/rice, etc.)
  • Do not think diet AKA restriction
  • Healthy eating does not have to be expensive
  • Portion control
  • You need the right food to aid your mood
  • You cannot run on an empty tank