Have you ever thought about why you enjoy your hobbies? Sure, they’re fun, but did you know that, on a deeper level, you might actually be simultaneously managing your mental health and anxiety while doing your favorite crossword puzzle or yoga pose? Here’s how doing the hobbies you love can have a positive effect on mental health.
Baking Brings You Back to Center
Baking, painting, or sewing – anything that involves working with your hands — are great forms of meditation. These hobbies bring the body into center as you focus on the task in front of you. The physicality of the hobby grounds you and forces you to be in the present moment. Also, seeing the results of your work brings you a sense of joy.
Insider.com states, “Occasional stress or anxiety, especially as a result of a challenging life event, is something that many people experience. Some activities or creative outlets like crafting and baking can be positive ways to relieve feelings of anxiety caused by a stressful life situation.”
Yoga Promotes Relaxation
We all know how relaxing yoga is, but it can also be an intense workout. This is because the breathing must match the movements, aiding in mental health support and clarity. You can do yoga once a week or even every day and see how this hobby positively transforms your mind-body connection.
Everydayhealth adds that “Yoga is a great hobby to promote healthy breathing and relaxation and reduce your body’s stress response. Even small amounts will have a positive effect on your well-being by giving you something to look forward to. Yoga engages your parasympathetic nervous system (the opposite of your stressed-out, fight-or-flight response).”
Do A Puzzle
A crossword puzzle — or any puzzle, for that matter — is great for your mental health. The mission becomes a singular goal as it activates the parts of the brain to create solutions. “Solutions” release you from chaos and internal bouts of depression.
Bustle.com states that “Puzzles are a great way to focus on a project that you can return to again and again. It’s also a nice activity to do with others if you want company but not a lot of conversation.”
CNET.com adds, “Hobbies can help ease existing depression symptoms and decrease your risk of developing depression by up to 30%. Hobbies improve your mental health via increased neuroplasticity, our brain’s ability to adapt by forming and using new synaptic connections. You can think of your brain as a big map — there are many ways to get to your destination, and sometimes you have to change which way you’re going. Hobbies and habits require you to form new neural pathways, which provide new reference points for the brain to recognize.”
Whether you enjoy baking, painting, crafting, doing yoga, running, or putting together a puzzle, you are actively choosing a hobby that supports your mental health. These fun pastimes ignite your brain and help you relax. They’re the perfect way to relieve stress or feelings of occasional anxiety and increase feelings of self-esteem and positivity. Devote some time to a creative ritual today!
Photo: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels.com