Hobbies turn out to be an important interest in the realm of stress resilience. I place them very near to the concept of relaxation. The object of relaxation is to ‘rest’ the brain, providing a period of time that is void of stressful distraction. One of my mainstay hobbies is found in the world of radio controlled model airplanes. My fascination began when I was a kid in 6th grade and I witnessed a gathering of RC planes and pilots outside of the National Air Museum at Ottawa, Ontario. I’ll never forget the glinting form of a twin-engine model plane; a silver fork-tailed P-38 WWII fighter zipping over our heads to the applause of those watching from below. That was in 1970! It took me until 1986 to take the plunge myself. I was recovering from a head-on car collision, not quite back to work yet and needing to fill some spare time.
When I am building my model planes, my concentration is directed toward interpreting plans, measuring, cutting and the construction of my model. When the plane is ready to fly…there are pre-flight items to satisfy and when the aircraft lifts off – trust me…my whole mind and body are connected to that model airplane. My brain is not wandering off to ruminate over any irritants past or present. Everything I am is keenly plugged in to that model plane and it’s continued flight. Some flights last much longer than others do, but that’s just the nature of the beast and an accepted part of the hobby.
Hobbies by their nature will ‘distract’ the brain away from the troubling world, causing you to instead concentrate on something you find to be pleasant. This is where the journey gets really interesting. Whatever you choose to spend your time doing – is going to be unique to you. You might want to develop more than one hobby. A few of my passions have led me into some great club activities for social support and creative inspiration. I have a number of pass-times that get visited in partnership with my many moods. I can also get totally absorbed with anything that has to do with fly-fishing, or you might find me happily tucked away in my little wood shop churning out a piece of intarsia for a friend, or picking up my guitar…again to re-learn something I’ve forgotten.
HOBBIES: They are a strategic tool – what’s your passion?
(A hike-in lake, a fly-rod, some rainbow trout and great friendships are good for the soul!)