Hobbies and Passions Help Keep us Healthy

We probably all know someone who retires only to feel lost, unable to get their bearings. Some people may develop an illness which can certainly give them something to think about/obsess over.

I recently met a man who retired from the government. He said when he was a youngster he played violin and was thinking of taking up the instrument again. He also said he was collecting books to read. When I asked him if he did much reading while he worked, he said no. He also didn’t practice violin during the decades he was employed. His life was one dimensional. He lacked passion. In fact, he seemed rather fearful of being alone with himself, day after day.

I often ask patients what they like to do in their spare time in the way of gardening, photography, and other hobbies. People who are passionate about something other than their work and their families are often the happiest and healthiest. In fact, years ago when I studied with Dr. John Diamond (author of Your Body Doesn’t Lie and Life Energy) who specializes in helping people stay well, he stresses how important it is to do something we love which in fact can increase life energy and prolong our lives.

While acupuncture among other modalities are great tools, they can give us a jump start, but it’s we who have to keep the momentum going. Ask yourself, what gives you pleasure? What activity makes time fly by? What hobby gives you satisfaction, without worrying about financial award or competing with others?