The wonderful season of monsoon is here but it doesn’t result in our stress levels getting any lower. Most of us deal with full-time jobs, attending meetings and seminars, paying those never-ending bills, and much more. It is as if something is constantly pulling us this way or that way. In such a situation it becomes difficult to catch a break every now and then. However, there are many ways to reduce stress—you just have to find the one that suits you the best. This post will talk about top 10 hobbies to do away with stress and depression.
What is stress?
Stress is something we all suffer from at some point or the other in our lives. According to Science, a little stress is good, but too much of it can cause many problems. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to turn your attention towards something else.
If you talk to any expert about stress, you will generally hear the words, “do what you love to beat stress.”
Stress is nothing but our reaction to changes in our lives or around. It is also related to over thinking. So the best way to get out of it is to think about things you love. If you spend some time focusing on something that is not stressful, your overall stress levels will be reduced.
Indulge in a hobby
Indulging yourself in a hobby is a wonderful way to calm an overactive mind and do away with all your stress and depression. It will help you take a break from your busy, stressful schedule and also clear your mental plate.
What will a hobby do?
Hobby will bring in relaxation and help you enter into a mental state that is similar to meditation so that you can shut out everything other than your engagement in your hobby. You will be completely absorbed and will enjoy doing an activity that will also involve your creative abilities.
It will open your mind to new possibilities. A productive hobby can even help you redefine yourself. So, just rekindle an old interesting hobby or cultivate a new one to lift your spirits and tune into the real you.Indulging yourself in a hobby is a wonderful way to calm an overactive mind Click To Tweet
Here are the top 10 hobbies that will help calm your mind.
10 Hobbies to help you Beat Stress and Depression
To help you live a stress free life, here are 10 hobbies that will help you stay happy and relaxed.
Photography is a creative and a fun hobby. At the same time it is productive as well. Looking at the world through a photographer’s lens is a deep in thought practice as you begin to look at things differently.
The art of photography is quite calming and satisfying and relieves you of all your stress and depression. The reason is that it shifts your focus off of yourself as you are involved in finding beauty and purpose outside. In addition, the pictures you click will always help you appreciate the beautiful side of life. It will guide your mind to have a positive outlook.
Don’t be frightened by this vague idea for a hobby—you don’t have to be a professional. Pick this up for your own benefit! By learning to take good pictures of what surrounds you, you will also learn to see the world differently. If you want to dive even deeper into the world of creativity, then the more the merrier! You will end up with a hobby to call your very own, and you can walk away with some beautiful unbelievable pictures that will help you feel a little less anxious, and a little more appreciative.
If you love flowers and greenery then Gardening is a rewarding and just the right hobby for you. It is also a great stress reliever. Merely being out in nature is a pleasant experience that will soothe your soul. The sounds, the smell, the breeze and the sunlight—all of them will help calm your mind and improve your mood.
Another important fact that most of us are unaware of and that scientist suggests is that the bacteria present in the soil helps in the activation of brain cells that produce the neurotransmitter serotonin which does the work of an antidepressant and thus beat stress and depression. Activities like digging, planting, weed pulling and harvesting strengthen your bones and muscles and thus help in maintaining your physical health as well.
By creating beauty and becoming one with nature, you will forget the stress around you.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says, “There is no better deliverance from the world than through art; and a man can form no surer bond with it than through art.”
Painting is a beautiful and a peaceful way to calm your mind. The different colors have different energy levels and therefore have a great effect on your mood. For instance, blue color is associated with tranquility, purple with creativity and meditation, green with freshness, yellow with optimism, orange with vitality, red with passion, and so on.
This hobby of painting not only opens up creative outlet in you but also makes your mind sharper. In other words, it works as a creative stress reliever that helps in releasing pent-up tension and anger.
Though cooking is a boring household chore for some, it is a pleasurable and stress-busting hobby for others. It works as a therapy to clear your mind and acts as a creative vent. Simply cutting and chopping food can be a great soothing ritual.
Apart from the immediate gratification that cooking gives; it also provides an excellent sensory experience, thanks to all the aroma, flavors, visual delight and sizzling sounds. The truth that it gives you an opportunity to nurture others makes it all the more meaningful and fun.
For all those out there who don’t know how to cook, this can be a really fun activity to pick up. Looking at your meal and your preparation come together is enormously beneficial—seeing your progress turn into reality will help benefit your overall happiness; and if that includes making some delicious brownies or an appetizing pasta dish, then it’s a completely win-win situation.
Pick up vegetables from your garden, use your cooking skills, click photographs of your cooked masterpieces, and bid adieu to a stressful life!
Yoga we all know is a great way to beat stress and depression. It takes you away from the troubles of the real world. You may take time to master yoga, and some asanas may even take years to get perfect; it is still one of the best ways to beat stress. You can start with simple asanas with the help of online tutorials. However, getting enrolled in a yoga class is always a sensible idea.
Also Read: 7 Yoga Poses to reduce Belly Fat
6. Reading and Writing
Both reading and writing are general hobbies that help people to relax and do away with all their worries, stress and depression. A study conducted at the University of Sussex revealed that reading is the best way to relax. Simply reading a newspaper or book, even for just 6 minutes, can be enough to reduce stress levels by 68%. It helps slow down the heart rate and ease muscle tension. Reading can help you lose track of time and help you realize there is more to life than just those silly stresses you have on the back-burner.
What is more cathartic than sitting and penning down what you truly feel at that very moment? By taking the time to really reflect on yourself and your emotions, you will be able to divide what is most important in your life, to those that aren’t important. Write down your feelings of anger, sadness, and throw it away, or burn it for even more stress relief. Either way, you’ll end up with a new hobby you will love, and a way to completely burn your doubts.
It is believed that music helps with the soul, so it makes sense to add this into the equation of stress and depression relief. By listening to your favorite song, and singing it out at the top of your lungs, you are in a way singing out the stress and worries from your life. Not only can that, but picking up and learning an instrument such as piano, guitar or violin greatly help with your worries. It helps express yourself and relieves tension. It is a great way to distract your mind from all the worldly stress and depression that it leads to.
Sing goodbye to those stressful burdens!
Working on craft projects, such as sewing, knitting, scrapbooking and a variety of DIY projects, is yet another interesting hobby that keeps you occupied and keeps you calm. It keeps you focussed on a particular thing or pattern and makes you forget the things that stress your mind. It also works as a creative outlet to release pent-up energy and frustration.
Studies indicate that crafting can act as an antidepressant and even protect your brain from aging. In a 2014 study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81.5% of the participants (3,500 knitters worldwide) with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. The recurring action involved in knitting activates the parasympathetic nervous system that counteracts the “fight or flight” reaction.
Scrapbooking is more than just keeping wonderful memories, but it’s a time that you can go through wonderful times with friends, and family, and pass on your albums to your kids, or grand-kids. By going through different pictures and creating the art you see fit, you’ll remember all of the good and wonderful times you’ve had, instead of surrounding yourself with the daily stresses of life.
9. Pet Keeping
Keeping a pet such as a dog or having your cat on your lap can be naturally relaxing. According to the research people living with pets have many health benefits, such as reduced stress, improved mood, and lowered high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Studies reveal that heart attack patients who own pets survive longer than those who don’t have pets.
Interestingly, a number of pediatricians and clinics incorporate aquarium therapy to promote positive mental health as it keeps the mind calm and lessen anxiety.
Dancing is another form of art that is a refuge from intense emotions and promote well-being. It enlivens the body and allows your mind to expand.
Dancing also has been shown to boost your mood. In a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Swedish researchers found that a dancing intervention program, twice weekly for 8 months, helped teenage girls struggling with stress, anxiety, depression and other internalizing problems improve their self-related health and reported a boost in mood.
This fun hobby also helps improve the condition of your heart and lungs, boosts self-confidence and increases aerobic fitness.
Why not give some of these hobbies a try when you are feeling weighed down, or at the end of your limits? They will either turn your day around, or you will end up finding out a secret hidden talent that you didn’t even know you had!