So, you have a passion for meditation. Great! But is it something you can consider a hobby?
What even is a hobby, to begin with?
If you’ve ever wondered if meditation falls into the category of “hobbies”, here are 5 reasons why it doesn’t!
Not just that, we’ll also look at what meditation truly is and whether you need it in your life!
1) A hobby is something you do for pleasure – meditation is often started for health reasons
The difference between hobbies and habits can sometimes be subtle.
For example, yoga is often practiced for its health benefits.
But, then it becomes a hobby when someone starts to enjoy it and do it only for the pleasure of it. That’s when the flow itself becomes super fun to do.
However, with meditation, people usually don’t start because the thought of sitting still for 10 minutes sounds so appealing.
Every single person does meditation because of the mental, physical and spiritual benefits you reap from it, not necessarily the 10 minutes sitting down.
That’s what makes it not a hobby – you do it for the after-effect, but the activity itself is not super pleasurable in itself.
Even if you don’t do it as a hobby, it can still become a large part of your identity!
We’ll talk about that in more detail in a little bit, but meditation is usually not done because people enjoy the activity so much.
More often than not, people simply like how it makes them feel afterward, and they know about the numerous health benefits.
But that’s not the only reason:
2) Hobbies are very individual, meditation is universal – everyone can reap the benefits
To start with, let’s look at hobbies and how many people can enjoy them.
For example, if you like sports, such as basketball or tennis, you can play with other people.
There are many basketball and tennis clubs around the world! The same can be said for crafts like knitting or sewing.
There are plenty of people who enjoy these hobbies if you’re interested in trying them out for yourself!
The difference is that with those things, they are very individual. Someone who might know how to play basketball might have no clue how to enjoy sewing, and someone who knits in their free time might not know how to kick a soccer ball for the life of them.
However, meditation is something that anyone can do. You don’t need anyone else to enjoy it and there are no skills involved!
In fact, you don’t even need to leave your house to do it, as long as you have a quiet space.
Many people like hobbies because they have a social aspect to them.
But, meditation is one of the more solitary activities out there. You can enjoy it all by yourself and reap all of the wonderful benefits that come with it.
And the biggest difference between meditation and those other hobbies?
Hobbies are so individual that some people might love something, while others hate it.
With meditation, it’s universal – the activity itself is very neutral, but everybody benefits from its results in the same way!
No matter who you are, how old you are, or what you do for a living – after meditating, you will experience similar benefits.
That’s why it’s not a hobby because everyone can do it and enjoy it – not just you!
Speaking of enjoying it:
3) Hobbies can become addictive – meditation doesn’t
One of the main differences between hobbies and meditation is the addiction that accompanies many hobbies.
For example, if you’re addicted to sports like basketball, tennis, football, or golf, you can have a problem.
This can lead to you losing sleep over it and other problems. You may even need professional help if you’re addicted to certain things.
A lot of hobbies can, over time, turn almost addictive.
Meditation, on the other hand, is a very different experience and doesn’t pose the same dangers.
While it can become a very big part of your life, it’s not something you can become addicted to.
Meditation is for health benefits and people don’t really get addicted to that, it’s more like the other way around – we become addicted to being stimulated, not meditation, where we have no stimuli at all!
So, you’re less likely to become addicted to meditation, as opposed to other hobbies.
Speaking of being less likely to be addicted:
4) Meditation requires a lot of discipline
Like many activities, meditation takes a lot of discipline.
If you want to become a professional dancer, singer, artist, or athlete, it’s going to take a lot of time. You have to practice, often on a daily basis, to become great at it.
However, with those things, they are usually also extremely fun, and if you’re not currently trying to reach any crazy goal, you often don’t need a ton of discipline, you just love what you do!
The same cannot be said for meditation.
If you want to be good at it, you need to practice it. If you want to reap the benefits of meditation, you need to practice it regularly.
This is one reason why many people have such a hard time with it. They try to meditate and then they put it off until tomorrow.
They find it hard to sustain the practice long enough to get any benefits from it.
Think about it: you only reap the benefits after, so the practice itself is not very alluring.
With hobbies, the activity in itself is super fun, which makes you want to keep doing it.
But with meditation, you don’t really enjoy the activity in itself. You do it for the after-effect, and that’s when you start to enjoy it!
Even though this might not sound like much of a difference, however, it is a very important one.
Your hobbies are the things that you would do even if you were to reap no other benefit from it whatsoever.
Think about it: if you had zero benefits from meditation, not mentally, physically or spiritually, would you still do it?
I don’t know a single person who’d say yes, because the benefits are the only reason people really do it for!
This probably comes from the fact that meditation is not an active activity, which brings me to my next point:
5) It’s not an “active” activity as opposed to other hobbies
Many hobbies, such as sports, are very active. You are constantly doing something. You may be running, dribbling a ball, or hitting a tennis ball with a racquet.
And, if you’re competing with other people, you’re often having to win. You’re always trying to do better than the last time.
The same can be said for some artistic disciplines, like painting. You’re always looking to create something better than what you did the last time. Or you simply enjoy the act of painting.
This isn’t the case with meditation, though. While you’re doing something, you’re not actively doing anything.
You’re not competing with anyone, either. All you’re doing is sitting there, trying to clear your mind.
There is no grading system or winning or losing. You are just doing it for yourself and the benefits that come with it.
The process itself is not very exciting, or an “activity”, like with all the other hobbies. This is why it’s not really a hobby, after all!
The 20 minutes of you meditating aren’t you “doing your hobby” – you are simply looking forward to how it will feel afterwards, whereas with hobbies, you enjoy the activity in itself!
Hopefully, you now know why meditation is not a hobby!
It’s important to know how you’re spending your time, as well as to have a very clear vision of what you want to do with your life.
But if meditation is not a hobby, then what is it?
Let’s take a look:
Meditation is a habit and then becomes a lifestyle
Another big difference between meditation and many hobbies is when you start to reap the benefits.
When you start to play a sport, you may start to see some results after a few months of practice. You may start to improve at it and see how your body has been growing stronger.
However, it can take a lot longer to reap the benefits of meditation.
With meditation, you have to start a habit. This can take time. Experts say that it can take up to three months to create a new habit.
It’s only after you’ve formed a regular meditation practice for three months or more that you can start to really enjoy its benefits.
You’ll notice you can concentrate better, you have more energy, and feel happier overall. You’ll also be less stressed.
So, as opposed to being a hobby, meditation is more of a habit.
Over time, if you are being consistent with that habit, meditation can start to become a part of your lifestyle. And, after that, you’ll reap the vast majority of its benefits!
So, meditation is not a hobby, it’s a habit and then a lifestyle.
People who meditate regularly usually don’t consider that part of their day as a hobby, it’s simply a part of who they are and what they do.
In that way, you can compare it to brushing your teeth.
Do you really enjoy the activity of brushing your teeth? Probably not really. However, the benefits outweigh the time involved in it.
This makes it a habit, not a hobby, wouldn’t you agree?
Well, the same can be said for meditation.
But there are ways to enjoy meditation a bit more and to make sure you are being consistent with it:
How can you enjoy meditation more?
One way you can enjoy meditation more is to find the best time for you to practice.
For example, if you like to meditate before bed, you may want to start doing it an hour or two before you go to sleep. This way, your body can calm down before you go to sleep.
If you’d rather meditate first thing in the morning, you can do that as well.
Another way to enjoy meditation more is to find the right posture for you. There are many different postures that you can try out.
If you have a physical ailment, you can try sitting in a chair while meditating. If you are pregnant, you can also meditate while sitting in a chair.
However, I found that I can concentrate best when I am lying down.
You see, when you find a posture that works well for you, you are more likely to stick to your practice.
But that’s not all.
You can also make meditation a bit more enjoyable by simply trying different things.
Maybe you can give guided meditations a try. You can also explore different types of music that help you meditate. You also want to make sure you’re doing it regularly.
Obviously, the more you practice, the better you’ll become at it and reap its benefits.
Have fun with it, and try different styles of meditation.
Maybe you like to light incense. Perhaps a candle sets the mood for you. Some people like to work with essential oils, too!
Just make sure you’re having fun!
That’s how you’ll reap the benefits that come with it, enjoy it, and make it a part of your lifestyle.
Is meditation something you need in your life?
A way to figure out if meditation is something you need in your life is to ask yourself a few questions.
First, do you suffer from anxiety or stress? Regular meditation can help with both of these issues.
Next, do you want to be more productive? Meditating regularly can help you to do this. You’ll be more focused and able to concentrate for longer.
Finally, do you want to be healthier? When you meditate, you clear your mind of negative thoughts and emotions.
This allows your body to function better. If you’ve answered yes to any of these, you may want to try out meditation.
However, I want to mention at this point that while meditation can be beneficial for everyone, sometimes, you might find yourself in situations where it’s not the best option at the time.
You see, some people get anxiety attacks, and while meditation can help reduce those over the long term, in that moment, sitting still and trying to be in your thoughts is about the worst thing you could do.
So, you may want to talk to someone about it and see if meditation is going to be good for you in this instance.
You may find that you can do it when the situation is over, or that some other type of activity will help you better deal with the stress level of that moment.
In general, meditation is great for every person, though. Find a way it fits into your personal life and then reap the benefits!
If you’ve read this far, you know that hobbies and meditation are very different things.
If you’ve been wondering if meditation is something you can consider a hobby, this article should answer your question.
You can’t call meditation a hobby because it offers no pleasure during the actual activity, it doesn’t have a social aspect, and it requires a lot of discipline.
You can call meditation a lifestyle instead, as it offers health benefits and helps you to be more productive.
Ultimately, you can call it whatever you want, just make sure to get started with your meditation practice!
In the end, we often get so hung up on details, such as “what is the label of this activity I do”. Why do you need to label it?
If you enjoy it, go ahead and do it, and if not, then don’t. Life can be pretty simple when we stop overcomplicating things!