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In order to live happily, let’s try to be busy! Hobbies and other interests are one of the keys to happiness and healthy aging, according to a study of people aged 65 and over in sixteen countries. Not only do hobbies reduce symptoms of depression, they are also associated with increased happiness and life satisfaction.
“The simple things are the most extraordinary, and only scientists can see them.This quote from Paulo Coelho, taken from “The Alchemist,” is now echoed in a study conducted by researchers at University College London (UCL). We have learned that hobbies, such as gardening, reading, art, or even gaming, may be beneficial. It makes it possible to combat age-related decline in mental health and happiness. And that’s not all, because it will contribute to the development of elderly people, as well as to their (self-reported) good health and life satisfaction A simple and accessible pleasure that can help improve the mental health of more than a billion people around the world.
For the purposes of the study, researchers were interested in the impact of hobbies on the physical and mental health of people aged 65 and older. Plus 93,000 individ- come back Years. Note that studies conducted in England, Japan, and the United States allowed participants to be asked about their hobbies, without defining the term precisely, while participants in studies in Europe and China were asked about a specific list of hobbies.
Gardening to live happier
Published in the magazine Natural medicineThis work demonstrates that taking up a hobby, defined as an activity one does in one’s free time (volunteering, book club, gardening, gaming, art, etc.) is associated with decreased depressive symptoms and increased levels of happiness and well-being. Satisfaction. According to the study, these hobbies are also associated with increased levels of “self-reported health.” Be careful, however, as researchers point out that “[ces conclusions] She suggests[nt] That there could be a causal effect“, but they also specified that this association had not been proven due to the observational nature of the study.
“Our study shows that hobbies can protect older people from age-related declines in mental health and well-being. This possibility holds true in many countries and cultural contexts,” says Dr. Karen Mack, lead author of this research work. In a press release. He added: “Among the findings, life satisfaction was strongly related to participation in hobbies. Hobbies may contribute to life satisfaction in later years through several mechanisms, including feeling in control of mind and body, finding purpose in life, and feeling competent to deal with everyday problems.“.
Normal for the Danes
Although these observations were made in all countries studied, not all populations approach the hobby in the same way. The researchers noted, for example, that just over half of Spanish and Italian participants reported having a hobby (51% and 54%, respectively), compared to 96% in Denmark, 95.8% in Sweden, or another 94.4% in Switzerland. “Because the pays où the life and the living of the national bonheur have higher levels, the people’s wealth is clearer at a passing high temperature, and the lien enters the living room and the fait d’avoir at a higher high temperature In these countries“, we can read in the study.
These findings could make it possible to implement new strategies aimed at promoting specific hobbies among older people. “Theoretical work suggests that the relationship between hobbies and well-being can go both ways: people with better mental health may be more likely to engage in a hobby, and persistence in a hobby can help us maintain greater life satisfaction. Our study also helps policymakers promote older people’s access to hobbies to improve their well-being and health“, concluded the scientists.
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