Art of Life/Donna Parker

Donna Parker

Hobbies Proven To Help Reduce Stress and Boost Happiness

“Find three hobbies to love: One to make you money, one to keep you in shape and one to be creative.” — Unknown

We could all use a little more happiness and far less stress. However, we often turn to the wrong places. Social media, and junk food all have their place. However, if you turn to them consistently to de-stress and boost your mood, then you are on track for a lot of disappointment. Of course, there is no need to eliminate them entirely. Instead, enjoy them in moderation while focusing on bringing wholesome, happy hobbies into your life.

If you are not participating in self-care activities weekly or even daily, you may find yourself feeling like you are in a constant state of fog. It is important to make sure you add self-care to your normal routine so you can have more joy in your everyday life.

Hobbies are great for self-care because it is time you can spend focusing on something that is purely enjoyable to you. If you spend your entire day doing only things that are work-related (both job and chores), you will burn out. Hobbies help to break up the day by giving you not just something to look forward to but also satisfaction when you complete a hobby project.

According to the experts, “hobbies are the best way to develop a positive attitude and achieve

Donna Parker

happiness." Hobbies can make you happier because they boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Do not be afraid to try something new too. Trying something new can give you a sense of adventure. So try painting before deciding if it is right for you, try out reading daily, or set a goal to exercise every day for a week. This will help you to determine the right hobby for your self-care needs.

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Pick a hobby that makes sense for you and your schedule. It should engage your brain while also giving you time to relax from your daily stresses. Do not try to force a certain hobby to be your hobby if it does not make sense or feel good to you.

All these hobbies are either free or super cheap, in fact, if you do a few of them properly, they may even save you money. Pick up one of these fantastically creative hobbies and do not feel guilty for spending hours on them with no financial reward. Unapologetically create for yourself and your sanity. The five options below should give you some starting inspiration:

Reading, but extra.  Disappearing into the world of a book is one of the best ways to boost your brain’s happiness stores. However, there are some ways that you can add to the experience to draw even more joy from it. Creating a cozy reading nook with comfy pillows, blankets, your favorite aroma and soft lighting is a great start. This can also be a fun way to inspire your imagination. For example, if you are reading a gothic horror novel, try some dark classical music.

Gardening.  Being in the presence of plants has proven mood-boosting benefits. Whether it is in a community garden, in your own backyard, or even just caring for the pot plants in your house, gardening is bound to help you de-stress and get a smile on your face. Amazingly, the mood-boosting effect of gardening comes from more than just the pleasure of the activity itself. It seems bacteria in the soil may activate the production of serotonin in the human brain, so getting your hands into the soil can have an antidepressant effect.

Learning.  Whether you want to learn a new language, or learn to manage your finances, or launch your own agency, there are classes that can help you do it. These can be taken online or in person, depending on your learning style. The happiness you experience will come from the personal growth you experience and the new opportunities this hobby opens up.

Martial arts.  Many people make the mistake of thinking of martial arts as being violent. The truth is, there are many different styles to try and many different gyms and dojos, each offering its own unique atmosphere. Most forms of martial arts will improve your fitness, willpower, and discipline. You will learn and grow each week, and these two factors are major mood enhancers.

Dancing.  Whether you take up formal ballroom dancing classes, engage in energetic salsa sessions, or simply dance your heart out by yourself in your living room, this is one hobby that is sure to fill you with energy and get the happiness flowing. Preparing breakfast for the family in the morning can turn from a taxing task to a shared moment of bliss if you find some music you all enjoy and be a bit silly together. If you work from home, mini-dance sessions can be a great way to invigorate yourself in the morning or take breaks throughout the day.

Try any or all of the hobbies above to reduce your stress and boost your happiness.

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