Did you know that hobbies can provide both physical and mental health benefits, as an outlet to use your mental energy and feel a sense of calm?
Find out how hobbies can benefit your life and what hobbies you can start doing to improve your overall health, today.
Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, depression, and low mood.
Practicing a hobby creates chemical reactions in your brain that may stave off mental illness.
Research has found that people who spent time on enjoyable activities were associated with lower blood pressure, positive psychosocial states, lower levels of depression, and an increase in physical performance.
Growing up, I’ve always been one to explore many different hobbies. I’ve always enjoyed arts and crafts, making random things to decorate my room with, and just being a kid who enjoyed the simple things in life.
As I got older, those hobbies slowly started becoming a thing of the past.
I lost sight of what it felt like to get wrapped up in my projects that once brought so much joy to my life.
It wasn’t until I developed a severe case of anxiety, that I realized it was time to start introducing hobbies back into my life again.
Hobbies are therapeutic, they reduce stress, encourage creativity, and prevent boredom.
Related articles: 21 Ways to Reduce Stress
If you often feel bored or you feel like you might just be taking your life a little too seriously, then maybe you’re in need of some fun, go-to hobbies in your life too.
In this article, I’m going to share 10 hobbies for you to consider, that can reduce your stress and anxiety and start enjoying your life a whole lot more.
Facts about hobbies and mental health
As I mentioned before, hobbies can be a great way to stave off mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
Related articles: 7 Simple Things To Do When You’re Feeling Depressed
First, we’ll discuss 3 facts about how hobbies can significantly improve your overall health while increasing productivity.
1. Reduces Anxiety
It’s common to spend too much time on things that don’t challenge us or bring much value to our lives, such as scrolling through social media or spending too much time watching tv.
Spending time on things that actually excite you and bring joy to your life, are the things that can reduce anxiety and improve your well-being.
Getting yourself wrapped up in activities that are beneficial and fun, distracts us from our worries and promotes relaxation.
2. Hobbies Give You Something to Occupy Your Time
When you’re sitting at home with nothing to do, it leaves more room for thoughts of depression, low self-worth, and possibly even suicidal thoughts that can take over your mind.
Investing your time in projects and hobbies gives you something to occupy your time, making you less likely to feel bored and unproductive.
3. Hobbies Exercise The Brain
Doing things like scrolling through Facebook, watching too much tv, or wasting time on things that don’t make you feel fulfilled, makes for an inactive and useless brain.
Hobbies give you a sense of purpose while expanding your mind’s capabilities, by tapping into your creative and intuitive side.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of having hobbies, now let’s take a look at 10 therapeutic hobbies for mental health.
10 Therapeutic Hobbies for Mental Health
Have you ever heard of canvas & wine?
The first time I went to this place, I swore I would make it a regular thing from then on out.
I had the best time when my mother-in-law took me to this place for the first time.
We drank some wine, danced to the music, and painted some pretty decent (nothing to brag about) canvas’.
It was so therapeutic, relaxing, and just simply fun, that the very next day I went out and bought some canvases, paintbrushes, some paint, and had my very own little canvas & wine painting at home.
I love to paint because it’s just so relaxing (when you don’t take it too seriously) and it takes your mind off of a lot of stress that you’ve been carrying around with you.
And you don’t have to go out to a public place like this to get the whole experience…you can just do it at home as I did, and make it a weekly family night thing if you please.
Turn on some music, put on your pj’s, and paint your little heart out.
Painting is all about just having fun and enjoying the moment while releasing your creative juices.
Have you ever watched those gardening shows and thought to yourself, “I’m gonna start my own little garden?”
I know I have.
Gardening can be a great way to not only have your very own vegetable garden but it’s also an effective way to relieve stress.
The great thing about gardening is that nowadays you can even do it indoors…so don’t let not having a yard discourage you from getting started with your own garden.
I always like to think back to when I was a kid and how much fun I had with my coloring books.
Anytime my mom would bring coloring books home for me or when she would stuff my stocking with coloring books on Christmas, it was the best thing ever.
It didn’t occur to me back then that coloring was actually therapeutic and something that made me feel relaxed and helped me unwind.
You can either print out individual coloring pages online or, do what I do and buy some coloring books from a 99 Cent store near you.
4. Video games
Another great childhood memory of mine is playing video games, practically every day after school.
My sister and I would play Nintendo for hours on end, and never get tired of it.
Playing video games is a great way to relieve stress, practice being in the present moment and genuinely have fun.
As a kid, I always found it so relaxing to draw on a blank sheet of paper.
I used to be naturally good at drawing so it was something that I really enjoyed doing.
Even if you don’t think you’re any good at drawing just remember one thing…you get better at it the more you practice.
Just like anything else — the more you practice the better you’ll get.
It’s really all about distracting yourself and having fun by allowing your creative side to shine.
6. Arts & Crafts
If you enjoy making things from scratch or making sentimental gifts for other people, you will definitely enjoy arts and crafts.
As an adult, I’ve dabbled in a few different arts and crafts projects such as homemade jewelry, candle making, and holiday cards.
There’s just something about seeing what types of things you can create and watching them unfold, from start to finish…it gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Here’s a list of a few ideas that you can consider exploring:
- Candle making
- Jewelry making
- Bath bombs
- Holiday cards
Use your imagination, find some ideas on Youtube, and get creative…the skies the limit.
7. Sewing/Crocheting – blankets, t-shirts, masks, lingerie.
Another hobby that I’ve really enjoyed throughout the years has been sewing.
This hobby started out with me crocheting blankets and sewing tote bags.
From there, I decided I would start sewing lingerie and sell them (I didn’t get that far).
I didn’t end up selling any of my finished products, but its definitely something you can consider if you want to make a little extra cash.
You can sell any handmade items on Etsy and make a pretty decent living if you really worked at it.
Or, just have fun and maybe consider giving your handmade items away as gifts to your friends and family during the holidays.
I’m sure you can probably relate to feeling the need to talk to a friend about something that happened in your life, and you couldn’t wait to tell your friend all about it.
Writing your thoughts and feelings down is another form of getting certain things off your chest and your mind, just as you would when you express how you feel to a friend.
According to a new study, writing about your thoughts and emotions can help you work through traumatic events while decreasing stress and anxiety associated with certain events.
Writing helps clear your mind and express the way that you’re feeling when you want to get something off your chest, privately.
Not to mention, writing helps you transfer negative energy from your thoughts, onto paper.
That’s why I created a workbook called The Mindset Reset Workbook, to help get my thought out of my head and onto paper.
You can grab your very own copy of the Mindset Reset Workbook, here.
Don’t worry, you don’t need a professional camera in order to take nice photos.
You can use your smartphone or even a disposable camera to capture some memorable moments.
I like finding props around my house that I can use in my photos, and I like going out for a walk to find inspiration for some inspiring photos.
You can take pictures of yourself, your animals, or create your own ideas and see what you come up with.
Another common thing around my house as a child was putting puzzles together on my mom’s kitchen table.
Looking back, this had to have been the most time-consuming thing I’ve ever done, and I don’t know how I had the patience to even do it.
However, now I realize how important it is to get wrapped up in the moment and not worry about time.
Puzzles are a great way to teach yourself discipline and patience.
Ultimately, exploring new hobbies can have a positive effect both physically and psychologically.
If you feel like something is missing in your life or you feel your mental health declining, it might be worth it to start considering some hobbies.
Although I’ve only listed 10 therapeutic hobbies for mental health, there are plenty of others that you can consider as well.
All that matters is what interests you and what you find therapeutic for you.
I hope that something on this list inspires you to explore new ideas and hobbies that you can turn to when you’re feeling down and need something to occupy your time with.