Warren Buffett Says He Manages His Stress By Doing Two Things Outside of Work

Warren Buffett.
Warren Buffett. Photo: Getty Images.

Similar hobbies like those of Warren Buffett have been know to lead to a happier, more successful life.

Do you know what will add even more stress to your already stressful work life? Not having an active life–a hobby–outside of work. You may not be hip or old enough to play bridge but billionaire investor Warren Buffett is known to play the card game to relax and keep his mind sharp.

The investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway also balances his life outside of work by playing something else: his famous ukulele. His love for the tiny four-stringed guitar spans decades, going back to the day he learned it in college to impress a young woman.

Hobbies lead to a happier, more successful life

Don’t play bridge or the ukelele? No worries. But you should worry if you don’t claim a hobby to balance life outside of work. Studies show that people with hobbies are less stressed, happier, more creative, and are known to even live longer. More specifically, here are three clear work reasons why you should have a hobby:

1. It helps you to perform better at work

A study of 400 employees published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology finds notable differences between people who enjoy creative hobbies versus those who do not. Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work were found to be better at creative problem-solving in different projects as well as having a better attitude on the job. Other research found that workers with hobbies are more satisfied with their jobs and have a lower likelihood of burning out.

2. It lowers your stress level

According to research published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine, employees participating in leisure activities had “more positive and less negative mood, more interest, less stress, and lower heart rate when engaging in leisure than when not.” The study demonstrates how hobbies can provide immediate stress relief, leading to several benefits such as improved focus, more happiness, and longer life. Another study involving 1,400 people linked low-impact physical leisure activities, like crafting, knitting, cooking, and playing an instrument to improving lowering your blood pressure and improving your physical health. Studies also found that art, whether painting or drawing, may also relieve stress. You don’t have to be a Rembrandt or a Picasso; the point is to enjoy what you’re doing to experience the health benefits.

3. It improves your well-being

A hobby I find to be a good use of my time is journaling. Science is saying that if you practice gratitude through daily journaling, it can help you balance out your negative emotions. When we express gratitude, those two feel-good hormones–dopamine and serotonin–are released in the brain to make us feel happier. The technique is so simple, a sixth-grader can do it. Here’s the magic formula:

  1. Three acts of gratitude. Spend two minutes a day writing down three new things you are grateful for. Do this for 21 days in a row. (Note: The reason this is so powerful is you’re training your mind to scan for positives, instead of threats. It’s the fastest way of teaching optimism.)
  2. Journal one positive experience. For two minutes a day, write in detail about one positive experience you’ve had during the last 24 hours. (This allows your brain to relive it, and teaches your brain that the behavior matters.)

So while many hobbies might at first seem like a waste of time, trust the science. Hobbies are actually a good investment in your overall well-being and longevity. Ask Warren Buffett.