Everyone has to have a hobby if one is to keep his or her sanity. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female; if you work full time, you work at home, or you are unemployed. Human nature dictates that you have at least one activity which can serve as your outlet. Whatever your station in life, whatever you do on a daily basis, you are bound to experience stress; and engaging in a hobby that you truly are passionate about will help you manage your stress levels.
If you haven’t found that one particular hobby as of yet, why don’t you start scouting your options? Here are some of the most popular hobbies that can effectively reduce stress in your life.
Gardening has to be at the top of the list. People from all over the world seem to find solace in connecting with nature, and what better way to get close to Mother Earth than to spend time in the garden? The sunshine, the smell of the earth, the feel of the plants – spending hours in this kind of environment will do wonders for your stress levels.
City dwellers might say that it’s all well and good for those who live in the suburbs or the country – they have all the land they need to engage in gardening activities. This does not mean, however, that you cannot do some gardening if you live in a concrete jungle. All you need is to get some pots or flower beds, which can serve as your mini garden. There are also plants which do not need as much space and sunlight – these would be perfect for city gardeners!
Another relaxing hobby is taking photos. Anyone can take photos, especially now that we have digital cameras that one can get for dirt cheap. The fact that we do not need to rely on film and the developing process anymore makes this hobby even easier and more cost effective.
Purists would scoff at the idea of using point and shoot cameras for serious photography, but I dare say that even these basic gadgets have features that allow beginner photographers to fiddle with the settings. If you are just starting out, you do not need a high tech camera anyway.
Here’s a tip to really make the most of photography as a stress buster: go to places that you like and try to see them from a different perspective. Try capturing those images using your camera – don’t be stingy with the clicking – and enjoy the fruits of your efforts.
Swimming is one of the most effective forms of exercise. It does not strain your muscles as violently as other types of exercise do. It cools you down on a hot day. It gives you time to reflect and clear your mind as you do your laps back and forth.
So you can’t swim very well? Who cares? You’ll never really be good at it unless you keep swimming. As a matter of fact, it could be to your advantage. If your mind is too full of stressful thoughts, you will find that swimming will take your mind off things. Every stroke counts to getting to the end of the pool – by the end of your swimming session, you’ll be as relaxed as you can ever be.
Humans need companionship. Even the most anti-social people have that need deep inside – they just find it difficult to bond with the right kind of people. Sometimes, though, companionship does not have to come in the form of another person. That’s why we have pets.
Keeping pets can be considered a hobby, and it definitely helps in reducing stress. What’s more wonderful than coming home to a cuddly bundle of puppy joy at the end of a long day? How about having your cat come up to you wanting to be stroked as you sit in front of the TV?
Fish are also good pets. Maintaining an aquarium requires some effort – but so does taking care of other animals. The big advantage of having an aquarium is that watching those fish swim around can be hypnotically relaxing. If you’re not convinced, try going to a nice pet store and watch the fish for a while.
Unless you are allergic to animals or you simply don’t like them, having a pet might be your best bet for a stress-busting hobby.
More often than not, stress is a result of not being able to release pent up thoughts and emotions. No matter how outspoken you may be, there is always something held back when you deal with other people. That is why writing is a good way to release your stress. You do not even have to be a good writer – the point is not to impress other people but to help yourself verbalize what you really think and feel. Why do you think journals and diaries were invented?
Of course, if you have talent in writing, then by all means, make the most out of it! If you can write short stories or novels, why not try and see if you can get them read by other people? You can go online and start your own blog and see how it goes. There are so many things that you can write about, and after having put words on paper, your stress will be miles away.
Arts and Crafts
If you are not one for writing, perhaps you can do some things with your hands. Arts and crafts have long been one of the most popular hobbies for those who are inclined. From drawing to painting to knitting – there are so many things that one can do in this regard.
The mere fact that you are creating something – whether it is useful or not – gives you a sense of accomplishment. This is a but a bonus, as the process of creating already gives you a chance to free your mind of stress.