Stress Reducing HobbiesMany people looking for a way to reduce stress have found that certain hobbies have a side benefit: relaxing qualities that help you reduce stress. For example, hobbies can act as a distraction to your everyday life, allowing you to forget about that overdue work project or fight with your friend.
If you’re wondering what the best hobbies for stress reduction are, we’ve done the research for you and came up with 6 of the best. Which one will you take up?
In a poll of 3,500 people, knitting was chosen as the top indoor hobby for 2016. Knitting has become so popular for stress reduction that you can find organizations devoted solely to the therapeutic benefit of this popular craft. StitchLinks.com is one such organization, devoted to the research and benefits of knitting. The Craft Yarn Council created the “Stitch Away Stress” campaign to encourage knitting and crocheting as stress relieving activities. Dr. Herbert Benson, the author of The Relaxation Response says:
The repetitive action of needlework induces a relaxed state, not unlike meditation.It’s been found to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as reduce the stress hormone, cortisol. The side to side eye movement that happens in knitting also has true physiological benefits. Moving your eyes in this side to side motion for 30 seconds each day can boost memory. It mimics a therapeutic technique called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. (Source: NY Times.)
A 2009 study by the University of Sussex found reading can reduce stress by 68 percent. The same study also shows that reading works faster than other relaxation methods, like listening to music. Experts suggest setting aside 30 minutes daily for the best benefits.
canvas and seeing a creation come alive puts you in a state of relaxation and provides a feeling of accomplishment. The act of creating art increases the “feel good” neurotransmitter, dopamine. Dopamine is known to boost your focus and concentration. Painting is also used with trauma patients as a way to recover from the traumatic event, focusing your mind on something beautiful that you create, as opposed to reliving past events.
The Mayo Clinic states that yoga is the “ultimate mind-body practice, combining physical poses, controlled breathing and meditation or relaxation.” In the practice of yoga, an emphasis is placed on breathing techniques. The ability to slow and control your breath physiologically reduces stress throughout your body and quiets the mind in the process.