The 10 best stress-relieving hobbies for good health

Anyone who’s ever had a hobby knows the pure joy and gratification they can bring.  Hobbies enrich our lives by providing a purpose and a means of taking time out to delight in the pure pleasure they offer.  Even though we may associate having a hobby only with those who have time on their hands leading carefree lives, the busiest of us should take notice as hobbies have numerous health benefits. 

10 best stress-relieving hobbies for good health

There are literally thousands of different hobbies we can choose from – most can be extremely valuable for relieving stress.  Depending on your interests and what you find relaxing will vary from others and that’s okay.  We each have our own interests and skills we possess allowing us the chance to explore what we like and what we are good at.

Everyone will have their own unique pleasurable pastimes they enjoy but here are 10 hobbies that for many people provide much needed stress relief we all seek:

1.      Birdwatching

One of the best excuses to get outdoors is to go birdwatching. No matter how stressed out your day has been, taking your binoculars and using it to find feathered friends can bring a sense of calm and tranquility.  It’s hard not to feel your blood pressure lowering along with stress and worries fading away looking at and hearing the cheerful tunes birds sing out.  It also is a great way to get in some exercise by following and tracking birds in their natural setting keeping you in physical condition.

2.      Playing a musical instrument

The language of music is the one universal means of connecting all of us together providing tremendous amounts of stress relief.  Whether listening to music or making it happen, this powerful tension reliever captures your full attention providing a means of creative expression.  Learning to play an instrument such as the piano can be just the outlet you need to calm down your anxiety.    

3.      Painting or drawing

Here is another creative hobby that can turn anxiety and feelings of stress into calm and relaxation.  For anyone artistic and even the not-so-blessed artist, the ability to paint or draw is a method of channeling your emotions distracting yourself from the pressures of life.  When we create something beautiful it gives us a feeling or pride and joy in revealing our inner selves.

4.      Maintaining an aquarium

Watching fish gracefully and effortlessly swim is one of the most relaxing scenes to view.  This is one of the reasons why aquariums are often seen in doctor’s offices and retirement homes as they have been shown to lower blood pressure and ease anxiety.  This hobby can also provide a person with creating an underwater environment unique to their own tastes – from the fish chosen to rocks and plants used for decoration.

5.      Gardening

No stress relieving hobby list would be complete without mentioning gardening.  Considered one of the best stress relievers of all time, gardening gets you outdoors breathing in fresh air, soaking in some sunshine and getting your hands into nature. This hobby removes you from the stressors of life improving mood and attitude in addition to being a good workout.

6.      Reading

There may be no other hobby that can whisk you away into a different realm quicker than sitting down with a good book.  Reading is a wonderful and healthy means of escape from the stress of everyday life.  Simply opening a book to read forces you to sit down, put your feet up and relax, going on a journey to wherever it takes you.     

7.      Photography

From using our cellphones to elaborate cameras, the advent of dramatically improved picture taking quality and ease of use has catapulted photography as a fun, imaginative, and visionary hobby. When viewing the world through a lens, you view the world differently. Suddenly you find yourself looking for opportunities to snap a photo that showcases how you see things helping you to look for beauty and goodness in life.

8.      Puzzles

Putting together a puzzle is a terrific way to engage our minds by developing brain power but also taking a needed break from life’s stressors.  Whether you’re working on a 500 or 1,000 piece puzzle, taking some time to think about what fits where can also help you sort out the pieces of life that may need putting back together.

9.      Hiking

Hitting a hiking trail is not only a great stress-reliever but also a healthy way to get in aerobic exercise.  From being outdoors in naturally calming surroundings to giving you the freedom to think and relax freely for an extended period of time, hiking will refresh and invigorate you in combatting stress on a regular basis. It also helps you to disassociate from the stresses of life by focusing on the wonders of nature around you.    

10.  Cooking

Probably a hobby with just about the most sensory experience one can handle is cooking.  From kneading your own homemade bread to whipping up a decadent dessert, cooking utilizes aroma, taste, touch, and visual delight. When we cook, we are not only being creative but also it’s a form of nurturing that makes people feel good which in turn, means you receive immediate gratification making you feel good.  This gratification can shift your attention away from the worries of life to becoming a recipe for living.