Sunday, June 21, 2015

Relieve Stress and Find Your Happy Place



I've always thought it strange that someone could go through their whole life without a single hobby.

I actually know a couple of people who don't have one. 

Maybe it isn't necessarily that they don't have a hobby, but they don't seem to have any particular interests to occupy their time and minds. Nothing that they like to do that helps them clear their heads and rejuvenate their souls.



What Are Your Hobbies?

What is it that you enjoy doing? Perhaps it's running? Baking? Sewing?

I personally have to do something. 

Through the years my interests and "hobbies" have changed but there has always been something.

I use to love reading and went through all the Anne Rice and Stephen King books I could get my hands on. But then I found it difficult to find quite time with three little girls bouncing around.

I use to love painting - in acrylics - landscapes and portraits. But it also turned out to be a difficult hobby with wee ones.

At this point in my life crocheting is my fav. I can crochet just about any where at any time. Unfortunately for me, one hobby just isn't enough. 

I was feeling a little lost and needed something more. So of course I went online - just browsing. Then I came across some pretty pictures - doodles - tangles - in black and white. 

I immediately knew that I found something I would love to do. 

All I need is a sketchbook and black markers. A hobby that doesn't take up much space or cost much money. I could get these items at a dollar store. It cost three dollars for the book and one dollar for the marker. 

Plus, I can do this with my grandchildren. Now we get out our sketch books and draw. Draw and color together.



Mind you I realize that at some point I may want to invest in better paper and markers. But for now I found my creative outlet. I found something relaxing and fun. Something a little different than my usual sketching.


The Benefits of a Hobby

Physical activities have obvious benefits. But what about the other kind interests like crocheting?

There are some very wonderful benefits. Hobbies are a means to finding happiness, an overall sense of well being and reduce stress.

Fun
Positive psychology is a relatively new branch that studies what makes life worthwhile. They discovered that activities which bring fun into your life is a good way to relax and to live in the moment which provides an over all sense of well being and happiness.


Good Stress

Hobbies promote Eustress which is a positive kind of stress created at times of great enthusiasm. Hobbies are a great way to create Eustress because you are doing something you love to do and it makes you feel excited.


Gratification

Gratification is also a part of positive psychology. If you are like me, I enjoy activities that make me feel productive - like I have accomplished something other wise I feel like I am wasting my time. Knowing that I will have a completed project of some kind gives me a fantastic feeling of achievement which equates to happiness.

Staying In the Moment

A hobby can engage you in a sense of flow, which can put you in a near-meditative state. 

I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. It's the kind of activity where you lose track of time and before you know it hours have passed by. You are concentrating so much in what you are doing that everything else (including stress) disappears. The end result is feeling less stressed out and feeling over all pleased with life. Happy!


Hobbies Help Prevent Burn Out

What is burn out? Well it's the result of stress. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, a hobby gives you something non work related to look forward to and it relieves stress. 

Your hobby may be the one thing that reduces the impact of chronic stress. 


Health Benefits of Hobbies

Hobbies are great for the body. Research has found that leisure time fun activities are associated with lower blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference, and body mass index. 

Hobbies are great for the mind. There is also a relationship between enjoyable activities and an increase in a positive outlook -reducing levels of depression.


Hobbies Promote Socializing

Hobbies can bring people together. Even if your hobby is meant for one person, there are groups out there  composed of others who also enjoy that activity. Connecting with people in a fun way relieves stress and contributes to your overall happiness.

Now we know why I have been so desperate to find a new hobby. I need something to to get me in the zone - flow (refer  Mihály Csíkszentmihályi's concept of "flow") - to decrease stress and depression - to increase my positive outlook -  - to make me feel HAPPY.

So next time someone you know is feeling stressed or down, ask them what is their hobby. What do you do for fun? Then tell them to get out there and get a hobby!


Featured
Thank you so much Stella for picking my post to feature at Two Uses Tuesday.

This is what she said, "Looking for a hobby for some happy time? Darlene shares with us some of her past hobbies and how you can relieve stress with them."




This is what they had to say at Meandering Mondays: "My favorite post came from Let It Shine with the post Relieve Stress and Find Your Happy Place! I definitely find reading books and listening to music quickly puts me in my happy place! I generally choose a good historical romance novel, but lately I have picked up a few biographies as well. Music changes with my mood, one day I may want to listen to hard rock, and other days might merit classical with an electric flair. They definitely give me a way to distress and relax. Thank you so much for sharing!"



POST A COMMENT


I love to read your opinions and comments. It makes my day. 

My apologies, all anonymous comments are deleted due to an excessive amount of spam.

Bye for now. 

Wishing you the best, Darlene

11 comments:

  1. I knew I liked you, Darlene. :) Crocheting and coloring are my 2 favorite stress relief activities, too. I'm always so impressed with your sketches.

    ReplyDelete
  2. After reading this post, i realized its been days when i dint spend quality time with my hobbies.Will surely need a break from daily routine to rejuvenate myself.
    Thanks for sharing in Meandering Mondays.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear you have hobbies that you love to do.

      Delete
  3. I love to crochet as well...I took a break but need to get back to it. I love to listen to books on tape and crochet....two joys in one. Stopping by from #MeanderingMondays

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Listening to books sounds very relaxing. It makes me think of my Mom sitting by the radio with her family listening to stories.

      Delete
  4. I have been trying to learn crocheting but haven't really got my hands on it. Would love to learn more about it...as for coloring, my daughter and I are big fans :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't give up. Crocheting is so rewarding.

      Delete
  5. This is such a great post!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post Darlene. I agree that we all need a hobby-it really can relieve stress! Thanks for sharing your thoughts at the #sundaysdownunder linky party. I've pinned and tweeted your post.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

    ReplyDelete