Challenges and frustrations in life are often common and unavoidable. They can take a toll on us emotionally, physically and psychologically. Life can get monotonous, and at its worst, toxic. We sometimes sacrifice our time and energy towards goals that we may not necessarily like or even care about. When we have free time, do we enjoy how we spend it? One day we may look around and say to ourselves “I hate all of this” or “what am I doing with my life?”  What are we supposed to do when we get to this point? What happens when we lose our passion?

Having activities and hobbies that bring us joy is a protective factor, a solution that helps keep us healthy and happy. They can be an inoculation against the challenges and problems of life. Finding a way to identify and rekindle our passion is important to our physical, mental, and emotional health. The following includes a few different ways we can find enjoyment and fulfillment in our lives.

Look at your Activity Domains

The three places I like to start identifying passions are in the creative, physical, and intellectual domains. The physical domain includes activities that get you moving. These activities can be hobbies you participate in on your own or with other people in the community.  When I was younger, I really enjoyed playing basketball, riding my bike and playing Frisbee.

The intellectual domain includes “thinking activities” that create a healthy challenge.  Puzzles, brain teasers, games, reading and any activity that makes us stop and think can have a variety of positive effects such as improved problem solving and critical thinking skills. These skills are important because they help us tackle the various problems in our lives.

The creative domain includes any activity or hobby that creatively inspires us. Creativity is the main way we express ourselves as individuals. It is an outlet for our emotions and is a great coping mechanism for challenging times in our lives. What types of art interest you? There are many different forms to choose including writing, drawing, sculpting, painting, music and photography. Although the creative process can leave you with a finished product, the journey is often just as fulfilling as the final product.

Domain activities are not necessarily separate from one another. Nature photography is an activity that falls in both the physical and creative domains since it requires hiking. Geocaching provides physical activity and an intellectual challenge at the same time. Remember that the goal is to find activities that you enjoy above all else.

Identify a Sun and Moon Activity

Sun activities inspire you to do more in your life. They invigorate your spirit and give you energy. When involved in a sun activity, you find yourself thinking, “I don’t want to be doing anything else right now.”

Moon activities help us feel calm, centered and relaxed. Moon activities are great for us to participate in after hard and challenging situations. A moon activity is a go-to for de-stressing. Some examples of moon activities include yoga, meditation, walking, reading and listening to music. Finding the activity that speaks to your relaxation is important.

Try Something New, Fail, and Keep Trying

Finding activities that motivate us may mean trying new things. If an idea or activity is foreign, we may not be very good at it on our first try.  Forgive yourself for any failures and allow yourself to move forward. If you do find that an activity is not for you, it is perfectly okay to stop and try something else.

Examine your Childhood.

When we enter adulthood, the prevailing idea is that we have to shed our childhood like a snake’s skin. The activities we enjoyed as children can be the key to finding interests and hobbies as an adult. Revisit childhood activities to find out what motivated and inspired you as a kid. The recent popularity of adult coloring books shows that we may actually miss the activities with left behind. When you do revisit, try to hold back judgment and follow your feelings.

Take a Myers-Briggs Test

A mother and daughter team, Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers created a personality test adapted from Carl Jung’s personality theory. While the test was created post-WWII, it is still widely used today. The Myers-Briggs Indicator is a personality test that can point us in the direction of our interests, careers and passions. Read up about how it works, its limitations, and concepts. A version of the test can be found at Human Metrics.

What activities and hobbies inspire you? Let us know. There may be another community member looking for that very thing.

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