Sometimes, it can feel like you’re living from one stressful moment to the next. One minute you’re worried about your job, and then you’re distraught over the state of the world. When your body is stressed, it releases a hormone called cortisol, which regulates various functions in your body, including metabolism, blood sugar levels, and immune response. Stress is beneficial to the overall functioning of your system in small doses, but it’s detrimental to your health if you receive it in high doses over a sustained period. For this reason, it’s essential to keep your cortisol levels balanced.
Stress relief is the most effective way to do this. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a productive activity to keep your mind off things, picking up any of the following hobbies is guaranteed to combat stress and put you at ease.
Learning how to play a musical instrument
Listening to music and making music are activities that provide a tremendous amount of health benefits. Research has shown that learning how to play a musical instrument lowers your blood pressure, hones your focus, reduces stress and anxiety, and fills you with a sense of accomplishment. It’s an excellent form of creative expression that teaches you the value of discipline and perseverance. It also doesn’t require a significant investment to start. All you need is to acquire an instrument, and you can already start learning either by watching YouTube tutorials or signing up for in-person classes like beginner piano lessons.
According to a study published by the Psychological Science Journal, journaling is a useful self-management tool that allows one to control negative thoughts and work through anxieties and concerns on paper. Bottling up your emotions will only build up your stressful feelings until you can’t take it anymore. This leads to more serious mental health issues. If you have trouble speaking to someone about these sentiments, putting your feelings down on paper clarifies your thoughts and allows you to deal with them productively.
A study was done in 2009 to study the effects of humor, yoga, and reading on stress levels of college students. The results revealed that just 30 minutes of reading could lower heart rate, regulate blood pressure, and minimize feelings of stress and anxiety the same way that humor and yoga do. Reading is an enjoyable hobby that you need to consider taking up. You’ll benefit from it, especially if you’re reading something you’re interested in, whether that’s non-fiction history books or hard-boiled detective fiction novels.
Multiple studies have shown that gardening is a productive healing activity that boosts positive mood and lowers levels of stress and anxiety. Gardening outdoors also exposes you to sunlight, giving you a healthy dose of vitamin D every time you engage in it. The most rewarding part of the hobby is the fact that you can harvest what you plant, which means you not only receive the mental health benefits, you also get herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers out of it.
Stress relief is an integral part of health and wellness. These are just some ideas to get you started. No matter what you do to relieve your stress, make sure that it’s a productive activity that brings you joy.