The Type Of Hobbies That Make You Happier

For the study, 582 people described strategies for improving their well-being.

For the study, 582 people described strategies for improving their well-being.

People who take up hobbies or interests that involve other people are happier one year later, research finds.

In comparison to those using non-social strategies, the socially focused were more satisfied with life.

Ms Julia Rohrer, the study’s first author, said:

“Our research showed that people who came up with ‘well-being’ strategies that involved other people were more satisfied with their lives one year later — even after taking into account that they were marginally happier to begin with.

In contrast, people who came up with strategies that did not explicitly involve others remained, on average, as satisfied as they were.”

For the study, 582 people described strategies for improving their well-being.

Some suggested non-social things like giving up smoking.

Others chose social things like spending more time with their family and friends or helping others.

The life satisfaction of those choosing nonsocial things remained the same one year later, while those who chose social things saw improvements in life satisfaction.

Ms Rohrer said:

“Many people are interested in becoming happier, but there is a lack of evidence regarding the long term effects of pursuing happiness through various types of activities.

After all, there’s no guarantee that trying to become happier doesn’t make you more miserable in the end.

I think our study partly fills that gap in the literature, although more research with a longitudinal perspective is certainly needed.”

The study was published in the journal Psychological Science (Rohrer et al., 2018).


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Hello, and welcome to PsyBlog. Thanks for dropping by.

This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.

It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.

I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.

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Author: Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book "Making Habits, Breaking Habits" (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks.