Updated on September 12th, 2018
It is well known that hobbies are vital to our sanity. While not necessary, it is scientifically proven. Main and stress-moderating effects of three types of activity (outdoor and active sports, social and cultural activities as hobbies) on physical and psychological illness symptoms as well as without symptoms have always been examined.
In a most recent survey, 340 individuals (159 males and 181 females) provided data for the study. Hobbies were chosen based on perceived stress-reducing benefits.
The stress-reducing capacity of outdoor sport participation was beneficial for health even in the absence of stressful life events.
Hobbies are indeed an excellent stress reliever. You’re taking a completely pleasurable activity and using it to distract you from the demands of life.
Life change and distress components of life events had different results in affecting health when leisure factors came into play.
Our brains are incredibly plastic, and hobbies offer new challenges and experiences, that enrich your knowledge in dealing with the new and unfamiliar.
The presence of social leisure was proven to moderate the relationship between life event distress and symptoms.
The commonly known stress relieving effects of social leisure were found at even higher levels of social activity; high levels of social leisure reduced the effects of anxiety and depression .
This is because hobbies allow you to explore and find yourself—your talents, especially since sometimes it requires you to interact with a lot of new people.
The presence of stress-reducing cultural leisurely hobbies moderated the effects of distress but exacerbated the effects of positive life change!
Here are some wonderful examples of hobbies you can cultivate for your well-being that are also good to put on your resume or even, for your repertoire of things when describing yourself in the “About Me” section of most websites.
- Traveling: Traveling to new places can not only be beneficial to your health but it can nourish your soul. Traveling is an inexpensive outlet if you allow it to be. There are ample resources such as LivingSocial and AirBnB that allow traveling to be a much more accessible hobby than you might think. Filling up your passport and collecting passports are just a few aspects of this hobby that can bring a lot of satisfaction.
- Thrifting: Have you ever watched Antique Roadshow? What about Storage Wars? Have you ever heard of Rumi Neely, founder of Are You Am I? What about the show Girl Boss? If you have, and are familiar with any one of these, then you would know what amazing finds you can discover at a thrift shop. This is the very essence of thrifting! It is a hobby that you can become passionate about, finding valuable goods for cheap and either collecting them or reselling them for three times the price! It doesn’t require a lot of skill or money, but it can be really therapeutic getting lost in each aisle of a thrift shop full of their own little miracles and it can even bring you some much needed cold hard cash!
- Diamond Painting: Imagine creating your own masterpiece that sparkled! That is exactly what diamond painting is all about. It’s your ability to recreate a glittering rendition of famous paintings such as Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Spend hours in calmness and tranquility, entranced in a technique analogous to cross stitch. Each kit comes with a legend, rhinestones and a pattern and all you have to do is put the corresponding rhinestone to its assigned place on the canvas and after some time, voila, a masterpiece. Diamond painting originated in China, and after much success it became widely available in the United States being described “as therapeutic as mandala coloring books”.
- Reading: Reading is probably one of the oldest hobbies in time, but one that never goes out of style. Reading demonstrates focus and intellect and it is said the most successful people in the world average one to two books a week. There are a multitude of books to cater to each and every desire. Perhaps you want to escape the trials and tribulations of life by plunging into a Nora Roberts romance. Maybe you want to learn how to talk to people as described in 92 Tips & Tricks for Talking to Anyone. Or maybe you want to learn a new craft. Whatever it may be, reading has a whole host of benefits as a hobby that could be a separate article on it’s on.
- Gardening: Some would say very few things in this world bring as much joy as gardening. Indeed, there is something rewarding about taking care of something and watching it blossom to its full potential. This hobby can bring the gardener a lot of peace and solidarity with the earth. While gardening is pretty self-explanatory there are many layers to it. It can get as specific as testing out your soil to see if plants can thrive in it. Where to plant that orchid to receive the most sunlight, and what kind of plant food should you buy for each of your plants? I’d like you to imagine growing an herb garden and having spices readily accessible for your next meal. Cooking is also an excellent hobby that can be fostered by the hobby of gardening. Think about it.
- Yoga: Ah! Good old Instagram has been an excellent platform for Yogi’s beginning to advanced. With the potential to be sponsored by Yoga companies and receive free clothing, people all over Instagram have been mastering #urdhvadhanurasana and taking beautiful pictures in front of the most scenic landscapes, in the cutest outfits. This is definitely a social hobby, even more so these days but it has never changed from being one of the best ways to release tension and combat stress. Try yoga with a friend by going to a free class. There are plenty of by donation yoga studios in any major city. Or try the Instagram movement yourself, find beautiful places and maybe do yoga by the beach at sunset or in the morning.
- Painting: Painting naked outdoors, painting with wine, painting with coffee, watercolor, or acrylic is an ultimate stress reliever. Supplies are virtually free and available at even Ross or Daiso Japan because they are inexpensive and last forever. Give painting a try, it is a very useful hobby with proven benefits of transforming things such as pain and anger. On LivingSocial, or Yelp, keep your eyes open for deals on events such as Painting With Wine. Go with a friend and mingle, remembering at the beginning of this article, what a wonder social activities such as this can be for depression and anxiety. Also on Craiglist, there are many avenues for those who want to practice creative expression. There are always postings inviting guests to sketch or paint a nude model. All you have to do is be open to receiving these invitations. They are definitely out there.
In conclusion, I leave you with this quote. “In whatever position one is in, or in whatever condition in life one is placed, one must find balance.
Balance is the state of the present – the here and now. If you balance in the present, you are living in Eternity. Balance in the body is the foundation for balance in life.” -B.K.S. Iyengar .
Remember that having one or more hobbies is key to finding balance in your life. After this article I hope that you are inspired to cultivate a hobby. May you find your balance.