The Mental and Physical Benefits of Having a Hobby

For many Americans, finding a way to relieve stress and anxiety is imperative, but it can be difficult to find the time, the money, the energy, or the right activity. When you come across something you truly enjoy doing, however, none of that matters, and when a hobby makes you happy, it greatly benefits your physical and mental health. Not only do many hobbies help you get active and social, they also help reduce stressors that can lead to depression and other mood disorders, allowing you to focus on what’s most important in your life.

Having a hobby also helps manage your day, which is important for individuals who are living with PTSD, extreme anxiety, or a substance abuse disorder. When you know what comes next, you can prepare and plan for it, eliminating the risk of a surprise down the road. A hobby can also keep you mentally engaged and can prevent boredom or brain-fog.

Keep reading to find out more about hobbies and their effect on your physical and mental health.

 

Anxiety Stress

A hobby can relieve Anxiety Stress Photo via Pixabay by Free-Photos

Get active

There are many different types of hobbies, and the ones that get you outside are some of the best. Spending time outdoors can help you get fit, boost your mental health, and learn how to cope with stress in a healthy way, as well as help you sleep better at night. If you enjoy being active, look for ways you can get outside and have fun, such as doing yoga on the beach, going for a hike, or simply heading to a local park with your dog for a run.

Or don’t

Sometimes, the best stress relief is simply doing nothing at all. In recent years, much has been discovered about the benefits of sensory deprivation as it relates to mental health. Float pods, an enclosed sound- and light-proof  “room” filled with body-temperature salt water is a great way to clear the mind and get connected to the body.

Work on your home

Many people enjoy putting time into their homes, whether it’s decorating or doing some landscaping on the weekends. Gardening and landscaping are great hobbies because they provide a creative outlet while helping you stay active. DIY projects are very popular these days, and often can be done in the span of a weekend without breaking the bank. Go here for some great project ideas that will keep you creatively fulfilled.

Get social

Having an active social life is important for individuals who have battled substance abuse, seniors who live alone, and those who suffer from social anxiety. It can be hard to put yourself into social situations when they are uncomfortable, but having a hobby that you can share with other like-minded people can really help you learn to open up and create a bond with others. Whether you want to join a club or group or simply enjoy the company of others while you practice something you enjoy, having a hobby can help you get there.

Earn extra money

Some hobbies allow you to earn extra money while doing something you enjoy, and having another source of income can greatly reduce stress and anxiety, especially if you are a single parent or are struggling to make ends meet. Whether you want to sell handmade items on a site like Etsy or start putting your artwork out into the world, there are many ways you can make money from your hobby.

Taking up a hobby can help you enjoy life, feel better physically, boost your mood and mental health, and keep you social, all of which can have profound positive effects for the long-term. Whether you want to get creative or start practicing a sport, finding a way to incorporate something you enjoy into daily life will help you tap into a happier, more well-rounded version of yourself. Talk to your friends and family and garner their support once you’ve found a hobby you enjoy; they may even want to join you!

By Melissa Howard

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