Hobbies Are Rich in Psychic Rewards
培養嗜好 提升工作表現
By EILENE ZIMMERMAN
Published: December 2, 200

Q. Between work and family, you have little time or energy left for hobbies. Without them, though, life feels mundane. What can you do about it?
問:工作家庭兩頭忙,找不出時間或餘力培養嗜好。但無嗜好令人俗。該怎麼辦?


A. Make time for them because those moments can change your mood and your mind-set.
答:盡量挪出時間培養嗜好。因為那些時刻,可以改變一個人的情緒和心態。


When people do things that make them feel good, like a hobby, it activates an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens that controls how we feel about life, said Dr. S. Ausim Azizi, chairman of the department of neurology at Temple University’s School of Medicine in Philadelphia who studies brain activity and cell signaling. Activities you enjoy also stimulate the brain’s septal zone – its “feel good” area – and that makes you feel happy, said Dr. Azizi.
專門研究人腦活動與細胞訊號的費城天普大學醫學院神經學系主任奧辛‧阿濟齊博士說,當你在做心情愉快的事,例如培養業餘嗜好時,會啟動控制我們生活感受,人腦中稱為「阿肯柏氏核」的區域。阿濟齊說,人們從事喜歡的活動也會激活人腦「中隔區」,亦即「感覺美好」區,讓人感到快樂。


Q. Are hobbies good for you?
問:嗜好對人有什麼好處嗎?


A. Yes, and in many ways. Hobbies can enhance your creativity, help you think more clearly and sharpen your focus, said Carol Kauffman, an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School. “When you’re really engaged in a hobby you love, you lose your sense of time and enter what’s called a flow state, and that restores your mind and energy,” she said. In a flow state, you are submerged in an experience, requiring a high level of concentration. Research shows strong correlations between flow states and peak performance, she said.
答:是的,而且是多方面的。哈佛醫學院臨床助理教授卡洛‧考夫曼說,嗜好可增強創造力,讓人思考更清晰,注意力更集中。她說:「當人們真的沈浸於自己喜愛的嗜好中時,會喪失時間感,進入所謂流暢狀態,進而恢復腦力與體力。」處於流暢狀態時,人們會一頭栽進需要高度專注的經驗中。她說,研究結果顯示,流暢狀態與顛峰表現兩者密不可分。


Being in that heightened state of concentration raises the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain that keep you focused and interested in what you’re doing and that energize you, said Dr. Gabriela Corá, a psychiatrist who is managing partner of the Florida Neuroscience Center and president of Executive Health and Wealth Institute, an executive coaching firm in Miami.
精神病學家賈布芮拉‧柯拉博士說,高度專注狀態,可提高人腦神經傳導物質的濃度,讓人集中注意力,並對所做的事感興趣,讓人精神百倍。柯拉為「佛羅里達神經學中心」管理合夥人,以及邁阿密高階主管培訓公司「高階主管健康與財富研究所」總裁。


“Making time for enjoyable activities stimulates parts of the brain associated with creative and positive thinking. You become emotionally and intellectually more motivated,” she said.
她說:「騰出時間,做樂在其中的活動,可刺激人腦中與創意及正面思考相關的區域。在感性和知性上,動機變得更強烈。」


Hobbies also enhance self-esteem and self-confidence, said Michelle P. Maidenberg, a psychotherapist and business coach in New York. “When people rely only on their role at work to foster self-esteem, that alone cannot typically fulfill their needs,” she said.
紐約心理治療師兼企業教練米雪‧梅登柏格說,嗜好也可提高自尊與自信。她說:「當人們只靠工作角色培養自尊時,一般而言,光靠這點,無法滿足他們的需求。」


Q. Can a hobby make you better at your job?
問:培養嗜好可讓職場表現更出色?


A. Yes, because doing something you enjoy can help you think more creatively and give you confidence. Ms. Kauffman said a hobby could even help prepare you for a difficult meeting, making you more sure of yourself and energetic. “Let’s say you are passionate about opera. Google your favorite opera piece and listen for five or six minutes,” she said. “That positive emotion builds your cognitive and social skills. If you follow your bliss for a little while, it really gives you a surge of energy.”
答:是的,因為做自己愛做的事,可幫助思考更有創意,並讓人充滿自信。考夫曼女士說,嗜好甚至可幫助人們為難搞的會議做好準備,讓你更有信心、精力充沛。她說:「比方說你很迷歌劇。用Google搜尋你喜歡的歌劇曲目,聽個五、六分鐘。這種正面情緒有助於建立認知與社交技巧。如能延續這種幸福感一陣子,就能真的大幅振作精神。」


Challenging hobbies may inspire ideas that will help you at work – leading, for example, to a new approach to making presentations, solving problems. “Any time you take a break from routine, you develop new ways of thinking,” said Gail McMeekin, a psychotherapist and owner of Creative Success, a career coaching company in Boston.
帶有挑戰性的嗜好能激發點子,而這些點子在職場上可幫上忙,例如,讓人找到作簡報與解決問題的新方向。心理治療師與波士頓生涯教練公司「創造力的成功」經營者蓋兒‧麥米金說:「每當你從例行工作抽空休息,都會發展出新的思考方式。」


Q. How can you tell if your hobby is something you should pursue professionally?
問:怎麼知道嗜好是否可以發展成事業?


A. The tipping point is reached when you are far more interested in your hobby than your job and when work feels like a waste of time, Ms. McMeekin said.
答: 麥米金說,關鍵點在你對業餘嗜好的興趣遠大於工作時,以及覺得工作是浪費時間之際。


“You have to do some market research first and make sure you could earn a living doing your hobby. You also take the risk that making your hobby your career will take all the fun out of it,” she said.
她說:「你必須先做點市調,確定能靠嗜好謀生。你同時也在冒險,當嗜好變成事業時,所有的樂趣也跟著消失。」

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