With today’s fast paced and stressful lifestyles, more and more health experts believe that hobbies serve to significantly reduce mental tension and stress. It is often difficult to take time off from our daily responsibilities; however, having a hobby is good for you. Medical science has documented the adverse effects of stress on our mental, physical and emotional health. A hobby not only provides stress relief but it can also boost creativity, self-esteem, passion, pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. Hobbies keep your mind and body active and are great distractions from the day-to-day stressors.
Your hobbies should be unique to you; find things you are good at or you have always wanted to learn. Hobbies can range anywhere from crafts, games, art, music, writing, collecting, dancing, cooking, knitting, photography, gardening, personal fitness, and sports. For inspiration, see www.discoverahobby.com for a list of over 225 hobbies.
- Physical hobbies such as exercise, sports, and dancing are a great way to workout the body and promote good health. Physical activity helps to stretch and tone muscles, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, burn fat, balance blood sugar, and reduce stress. Physical activities not only benefit the body but also help in making your mind more alert. Most hobbies also need strategy to reach your goal which keeps your brain working.
- Outdoor activities where you can connect with nature have been shown to have positive health benefits. These types of activities include gardening, hiking, photography, camping or a walk in the park. Fresh air can help produce a healthy mind, clean lungs, and a calming feeling.
- Art, music and writing allows us to develop our creative side which is valuable for overall health. Art allows us to de-stress and express ourselves, singing requires deep breathing, and writing allows us to express our feelings; all of which provide a sense of accomplishment.
Taking time to lose yourself in a hobby provides a break from day-to-day living and allows you to acquire new skills, discover hidden talents, and meet like-minded people. So, why not take up playing an instrument or a sport? Join a social group, go ballroom dancing, bowling or bicycling. Include the family in a good old-fashioned card or board game, a puzzle or a walk. Get out in nature, breathe the fresh air, get some sunshine and dig in the dirt.
Whatever hobby you choose should make you feel refreshed after performing it. It is the end result of the effort and the sense of accomplishment that provides great satisfaction and the much needed outlet for stress and tension.