19 Feb Hobbies that have surprising mental health benefits
via Body & Soul by Renata Gortan
During lockdown, we rediscovered hobbies. This is why it pays to keep them up in 2021.
When you’re stuck at home and there’s nothing to do, your boredom leads you in two directions – switching off to a screen or switching on by doing something with your hands.
There’s a reason they say, “idle hands are the devil’s tool.” When you’re bored and you have nothing to do, chances are your thoughts are going to go places that aren’t good for you. Which is where the power of hobbies lie. They’re good for your mental health.
When you’re actively engaged in something, when you’re using your hands as well as your brain, you don’t have the headspace to go down darker paths because your mind is already full of something else. It doesn’t have the space to be stressed or anxious.
Think of it in terms of exercise. When you’re in the zone, really in the zone, all you can do is be in your body. If you start thinking about your grocery list, the manger at work who is making your life harder or whether you’ll finish Bridgerton tonight, you’re going to lose your balance during warrior pose, slack off on that hill sprint the rest of your spin class is climbing or drop that heavy weight and do yourself an injury.
It’s why being truly engaged in a hobby works as a mini wellness retreat for your brain. It’s the epitome of mindfulness.
Learning a new skill also engages your brain and can give you a sense of purpose and achievement. There’s a reason everyone was doing giant jigsaw puzzles in lockdown.
But if you’re the kind of person who shudders at the thought of trying to find the 25th blue-sky puzzle piece, then maybe take up gardening instead. The aim is to find a hobby that you find relaxing, rather than stressful. Something that you can lose yourself in for an hour or two that will help you chill out instead of getting you frazzled…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE