There is always a misconception that stress is not good for you. Well, let's break the myth: Stress is not always a bad thing as there are several benefits to it. Moderate stress is normal and in fact, helps build your body’s immunity if properly managed.
Beat Stress with HobbiesPeople relieve their stress in different ways. While some prefer talking to someone and letting it all out, others need a quiet space to sort out their thoughts. An easier way to consistently beat stress build up is to take up a hobby that elevates your mood and keeps you happy. Music, dance, gardening and choosing a handicraft hobby are some interesting ways to de-stress yourself.
Why are Hobbies Important to Deal with Stress?Hobbies are an excellent way to spend your spare time on an activity that you enjoy and get a break from your daily routine. Spending time on the activity that you find pleasure in, can improve mental health and wellbeing.
Research proves that people with hobbies are less likely to experience stress, low mood, and depression. Outdoors activities can make you feel happier and relaxed while group activities like team sports can also promote communication skills and relationships with others.
Your interests may be creative, athletic, academic, or something distinctly personal but what matters is that the hobby you choose should be meaningful and enjoyable.
What are the Health Benefits of Trying a Hobby?
- Reduces stress
- Improves creativity
- Promotes quality sleep
- Reduces risk of metabolic diseases
- Promotes immunity
- Improves focus and memory
Top 11 Hobbies that Help You Deal with Stress1. Try Gardening to Improve Mood
Gardening has a positive influence on stress and can be a great stress reliever for different reasons like getting you out into the sunshine and fresh air, creating wonderful surroundings to come home to, every day. Bacteria present in soil may activate brain cells to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is similar to an antidepressant which may calm the mind and improve mood, suggest a team of researchers.
Puzzles improve your concentration as focusing on a challenging task can de-stress you and encourage you to think creatively. While it eliminates distracting thoughts and promotes clarity, it brings a sense of calm and serenity. Puzzles improve our problem-solving skills as we learn to think from different approaches to try and solve a problem. Studies have shown that working on puzzles can ward off diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.
3. Explore Photography
Photography allows you to place your focus outside of yourself. It can be a creative and fun hobby that can help divert you from the stress, anxiety, and depression of everyday life. Practicing to see the world through the lens of a camera, may help you see things differently. It improves your mood as you start to look for the beauty in everything. You can maintain a healthy mind by being proactive using such hobbies. If you feel your negative vibes kicking in, then this hobby is worth a try.
4. Get Artistic
Process your emotions by getting in touch with your creative side like drawing, painting or coloring to distract yourself. This helps you lower stress and get in touch with your inner feelings. Art can be a great stress relief tool even for those who don't have artistic skills.
Mandala art therapy is a rage right now among adults where these books claim to bring inner peace when you are coloring the patterns thereby improving mood and eliminating negative thoughts. This hobby provides a constructive way to release emotions.
Many people find comfort in writing whether it is a personal journal or writing gratitude lists. Many studies have proved that it can reduce symptoms like anxiety and depression. Writing the thoughts can clarify your emotions and reflect on your feelings in a healthy manner. It is just a creative way to express your thoughts and emotions privately. Studies have also found that creative expression promotes wellness and healing.
6. Read a book
Reading books offers academic and cognitive benefits. It is a great way to escape stress accumulation on a daily basis, to explore your interests and enrich your mind. This hobby can improve your writing skill and stronger analytical thinking skills. Reading offers mental stimulation, decreased anxiety, improved memory and focus. Studies have found that reading a newspaper or a book for even six minutes can reduce stress levels by 68%. It helps to slow down the heart rate and ease muscle tension.
7. Take a walk in Nature
Taking a stroll in nature can be a great way to relieve stress where you can connect with the different sounds of nature. Studies reveal that taking a walk in nature can bring a sense of awareness and helps prevent brooding over the past and obsessing over negative thoughts. Hiking reduces overall stress and is an excellent form of aerobic exercise.
Repeated movement while knitting can be meditative and allows you to focus on the present moment while giving you the delight of creating something. Studies show that knitting is effective at reducing both physical and mental symptoms of stress.
9. Listen to music
Music is an effective stress relieving therapy and has a calming effect. Heart rate and blood pressure can be reduced by listening to music for at least 30 minutes a day.
Listening to regular music can treat a range of neurological conditions as it stimulates the brain and may even change brain function, reveal Stanford University researchers. Familiar gentle music lowers the stress hormone cortisol and improves mood.
10. Raise a pet
Raising a pet can be naturally soothing. Research has linked living with a pet to several health benefits like improving mood, reducing stress, lowering high blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Some doctors and clinics include aquarium therapy to promote mental health to calm the mind and ease anxiety.
Dancing is a movement based creative expression that can be an outlet for intense emotions and promote well-being. Tai Chi Chuan, for example, is a slow dance that joins structured movements, deep breathing, and relaxation to calm the mind and elevate your mood. It can also promote the heart and lung conditions, boosting self-confidence and increasing aerobic fitness.
Pick up a hobby and set aside some time to pursue the hobby as often as possible. Your stress levels will go down and you will find your mood elevated, even if you are running a rat race to make a living. You can find out for yourself that hobbies can be relaxing and rewarding.