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Having a Hobby is a Must for Physical, Mental, Emotional Health

kaminskasMy hobby? I am rebuilding my goat. I enjoy activities with family and friends as often as possible; however, it wasn’t until I started rebuilding my “goat” that I realized the benefit of having a hobby. By hobby, I mean an activity outside of my normal, daily work and family time; an activity I engage in just for the sheer enjoyment of it.

In 1992, I purchased a 1969 Pontiac GTO. Although Pontiac used the name GTO Tiger in its advertising, the car soon acquired the nickname goat. I drove my goat for six years before putting it on the rack to restore and rebuild it. My goat became a passion and my favorite hobby.

Michael Brickey, author of “Defy Aging,” says an ideal hobby serves three purposes: a diversion (escape from daily life), a passion (engage in something you love) and a creation of purpose. For me, restoration of the goat is my ideal hobby. It’s a relaxing diversion, something I love to do and my purpose is to get it running!

The best hobbies require the mind and body to think and move differently than normal daily tasks. For example, I am an anesthesiologist, and my hobby is rebuilding a classic car. Going from the operating room to the garage not only requires a change of clothes, but also changes in my thought process and what my hands are doing. In fact, I often find myself crawling around on the ground, which I can assure you I don’t do in the operating room.

Hobbies can:

  • Offer a “break” with a purpose. It can be difficult to detach from life’s responsibilities and drive to be productive. However, engaging in a hobby provides a positive release that can also serve a purpose.
  • Promote happiness. Because hobbies generally incorporate pleasure and fun into your life, having hobbies is good way to bring more joy into your life.
  • Bring gratification. We feel satisfied and fulfilled when we are challenged to use our skills. Completing a project or activity provides instant and long-term gratification.
  • Break-up the mundane. Hobbies interrupt routines and offer new ways for the brain to engage and the body to move. For those who may be under-stimulated, hobbies can provide a source of excitement, purpose and fun.
  • Challenge the mind. Hobbies provide different mental challenges than those faced on the job. And, hobbies may improve work performance by increasing decision-making skills, creativity and confidence.
  • Create community. Many hobbies take place in groups such as golfing or dancing. Even if your activity is a one-person show, you can interact with people who enjoy this same hobby.
  • Decrease stress. Having a hobby provides an outlet to step away from daily responsibilities and concerns. By focusing on a hobby, you give your mind a different center of attention, which helps reduce stress and worry.
  • Benefit your physical and mental health. People who make time for non-work activities, even just 20 minutes a week, experience less depression, more energy and an overall better outlook on life.
  • Prevent burnout. Hobbies bring a sense of fun that can help minimize the impact of chronic stress and fatigue.

Consider a hobby as one of life’s joys that provides purpose, satisfaction and pleasure. Hobbies inspire people to learn new skills, make new friends and live more fulfilled lives. FBN

By Daniel Kaminskas, M.D.

Daniel Kaminskas, M.D., is a board-certified anesthesiologist, specializing in cardiothoracic anesthesia. He is a founding member of Forest Country Anesthesia, which was formed in 1988. Dr. Kaminskas serves as co-medical director of Surgical Services at Flagstaff Medical Center. He has been married for 35 years and has three now-adult daughters. He grew up in Phoenix and moved to Flagstaff in 1987 to establish a medical practice and raise his family. In addition to rebuilding his 1969 GTO, he loves to golf and volleyball, and previously coached his daughters’ club volleyball teams.

Forest Country Anesthesia providers perform more than 16,000 anesthetic procedures each year in all areas of anesthesiology, including cardiovascular, neurosurgery, obstetrics, orthopedics and pediatrics, across five facilities in Northern Arizona. To learn more about Dr. Kaminskas and Forest Country Anesthesia, visit or call 928-773-2505.

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