Stress blog

Got stress? Get a hobby

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. January 16, 2010

As I've mentioned before, I'm a piano player with a passion for the keyboard but marginal skills. My teacher says I have more courage than talent. I often play in public venues, such as the lobby of a hotel. Those 30 or 40 minutes of focused attention wipe away, at least for awhile, some of my cares and burdens.

With my interest in music, I've read a lot about musical prodigies — the six-year olds who can sit down at a keyboard and play Beethoven without missing a note. When you look into the lives of these prodigies, you see that they've devoted hours and hours to their music. They have talent, but they have to work to develop it.

Far from being a waste of time, having a hobby like playing music provides stress relief — in a more meaningful way than surfing the Web or watching TV. A hobby can also boost creativity and self-esteem, and it can provide pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. What a rewarding experience it is to share your avocation with others, as I do when I pound out tunes on the piano.

What are you passionate about? Do you have an avocation? How do you share it with others?

With

Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

Jan. 16, 2010