5 Ways Hobbies Can Improve Your Mental Health
In a Ask Your Target Market survey, 56% of its respondents noted that they had several hobbies. There are several reasons why hobbies are great. They are an excellent way of unwinding after a long week, a source of replenishment and content, and for relaxation. However, hobbies can do more than that. From gardening to knitting, hobbies also help improve one’s mental health, further improving your quality of life and overall health. But how exactly do hobbies improve your mental health? Here are five ways hobbies can improve your mental health.
- Increases creativity
Creativity plays a major role in improving your mental health. This is because it puts you “in the zone,” which causes you to be hyper-focused on an activity. Being in the zone creates a feeling of euphoria, which excites you and allows your creative juices to run. It also makes you more mindful and relaxed. Additionally, research has shown that engaging in hobbies that help you express your creativity, such as songwriting, photography, and painting, improves one’s mood. Creativity causes a chemical reaction that expands neural connections linked to releasing good hormones.
- Reduce stress
After a stressful day or week from your busy schedule, one thing you are looking forward to is some “me time” to unwind and relax. However, it can be easier said than done, as you may struggle looking for what to do to help you unwind. This is where having a hobby can be beneficial. Studies have shown that engaging in hobbies releases happy hormones such as dopamine, which helps improve their mood. This, in turn, lowers stress, helping you unwind. So the next time you feel drained from a hectic day, do something you love. For example, if you like to bake, making a cozy and delicious apple crumble pie could greatly reduce your stress levels and give you a tasty dessert.
- Improves your cognitive abilities
Another way hobbies can improve your mental health is by improving your cognitive abilities and skills. Whenever you engage in a hobby, your brain is also a part of the process. Therefore, the more hobbies you partake in frequently, the higher your chances are of improving your cognitive abilities. There are several ways hobbies do this. For instance, hobbies such as knitting or playing a musical instrument can help improve your eye-hand coordination. Your hobbies can also reduce your chances of contracting various cognitive decline illnesses like dementia and help improve your memory— keeping your brain healthy. Another way hobbies can improve your cognitive abilities is by doing even more new hobbies. You should engage in hobbies like playing music, gardening, and painting to improve your cognitive skills. Studies have shown that engaging in new hobbies creates new pathways in your brain. The more these pathways are used, the stronger your brain becomes.
- Level up your confidence
It can be exciting to master a skill. Not only do you build upon yourself by doing so, but you also give you sense of well-being and a feeling of accomplishment. Most importantly, it makes you feel more confident as you see yourself getting better than before. This is what hobbies do for you. Whether you’re partaking in a new hobby or simply engaging and improving on an existing one, hobbies can level your confidence. Confidence improves your mental health in several ways. Confidence helps you experience less anxiety and fear. It also gives you a positive outlook on life, which is important to improving your emotional and mental health.
- Form connections with others
In today’s hectic world, everyone’s living busy lives. This means you have little time to do many things, such as creating relationships. Therefore, it is no surprise that most people are content with living like they are on an island. This can be very unhealthy for your mental health as it goes against human nature to be sociable. Fortunately, hobbies can change that.
Other people in your community enjoy the same hobbies you do. This serves as a great way to bond and share experiences with one another. It also allows you to interact with like-minded people, which can be validating and reassuring. In many cases, these interactions can lead to the creation of meaningful relationships. No matter the hobby you enjoy, you can always find a community to participate in. For example, you can join a readers club if you’re a bookworm or a football team if you love the sport.
Now that you know how hobbies improve your mental health, it is time to engage in hobbies you enjoy and develop new ones.
This post is in collaboration, however all opinions are my own.