“Although, by definition, many hobbies don’t have an immediate purpose the contribution they make to life is enormous because by boosting happiness they, in turn, boost quality of life which includes productivity, health and success.”
– Dr. Tim Sharp
A study published last year found that stress reducing hobbies don’t have to involve physical exertion.
In fact, those of us who aren’t that fond of exercise can alleviate stress not only during the time we’re engaging in more stationary hobbies, but for several hours afterward.
Consider adding one of these stress reducing hobbies to your daily or weekly routine. Most can be done from your own home.
- Backyard birding.
- Crafting (see this recent article about the Health Benefits of Knitting)
- Making art.
- Playing a musical instrument.
- Watching TV (not mindlessly, but a show you’re absorbed in).
- Doing jigsaw puzzles.
On a personal note, I’ve found that not only can hobbies reduce stress, they can teach much needed skills, such as patience. When I first began knitting, I’d get frustrated when I discovered a mistake and had to rip my work back.
Over time, I noticed, not only did it not bother me anymore, but making mistakes in other areas of my life didn’t bother me as much either, and I became more patient in general.
For more information about the study, listen to this story on NPR:
What are your favorite stress reducing hobbies? How have they improved your life?