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Hobbies as a Form of Mindfulness

Hobbies play an important role in helping us stay present and in the moment.

Before I learned Mindfulness, I thought a hobby’s only function was to prove I wasn’t boring at a party. After all, what practical reason could I have for filling my basement with miniature dollhouses?

Depression is About the Past; Anxiety is About the Future

There is a saying that depression is about the past and anxiety is about the future. If you ruminate about the past, constantly reliving hurts and regrets, you will end up depressed.

On the other hand, if your mind constantly goes to the land of “what if?,” churning on all the things that could go wrong and will probably go wrong, you will get anxious.

My daughter Teresa

If we can stay in the moment, neither drifting to the past or skipping to the future, we may find that this moment is tolerable. Stop for a moment and ponder, “Is this exact moment terrible? Could I tolerate this moment another second?” The answer is likely yes.

If you could think about this moment and only this moment, no thoughts of the past, no fears for the future, wouldn’t that be a relief? Of course it would, and that’s where hobbies come in.

Lose Yourself in the Moment

When we are totally focused on our hobby, we think of nothing else but that model plane we are building, the picture we are painting, the song we are playing, or the little miniatures we are making.

We get lost in time as we focus on the minute details of attending to our craft. There’s no time to dwell on the past or worry about the future. All you have to think about is this exact moment, and your creative endeavor.

A hobby isn’t the only way to be in the present moment, but it’s a great example of how we can absorb ourselves in the moment, letting go of worries, fears, and past hurts.

Mindfulness teaches us how to turn any moment into a present moment.

Practice Mindfulness Daily

Whether you are sipping your morning coffee, going for an evening stroll, or brushing your teeth, try practicing mindfulness by staying in the present moment. Allow your senses to guide you by tuning in to what you feel, see, hear, touch, and taste.

If your mind drifts to the past or jumps to the future, acknowledge the thought, then let it go. Return to the present. It’s not that we should never reminisce about the past or plan for the future, it’s that we want to do it with purpose and intention.

My daughter Teresa is the Queen of Hobbies...check out her blog at Adventures in Self Sufficiency.

Thank you, Teresa, for all your help on my blog. You are my mentor and role model.

“A thousand candles can be lighted from the flame of one candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness can be spread without diminishing that of yourself.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

To learn more, or if you are interested in counselling services, please visit Validity Counselling's homepage,

Author: Jenny DeReis

Jenny is CEO and therapist at Validity Counselling in Prince George, BC. She has a Master's Degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary.

Jenny has intensive and advanced training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) from Dr. Charlie Swansen, author of several books on DBT . She has also received DBT training from the Behavior Tech Institute, and from DBT expert Sherri Van Dijk.

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