If you have anxiety, it can feel like danger lurks around every corner. What can you do to calm that edgy feeling?
The right hobby can be highly therapeutic. It redirects your chaotic mental and physical energy and gives you a sense of agency that you can make a positive difference in your experience. What are the best hobbies for anxiety? Here are five ideas.
1. Get Physical
Your mind and body share an intricate bond, and what you do to one affects the other. Anxiety sets off a physiological hormone flood, elevating your cortisol levels. This stress substance can drive you to behaviors like comfort eating, which pads on extra pounds and creates more stress.
Exercise eases anxiety in multiple ways. The movement itself decreases muscle tension, alleviating many of the aches and pains that often accompany the condition.
Additionally, working out changes your brain chemistry, increasing the availability of anti-anxiety neurotransmitters like serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It also activates your brain’s frontal cortex, which has a restraining effect on your amygdala, the part responsible for your fight-or-flight response.
What’s the best type of exercise for you? The bottom line boils down to whatever you loIf you want to make your commute more sustainable, why not take up cycling and get your exercise on your way to the office? If you aren’t sure what you love, you can find numerous fitness apps, many of which feature various programs. Many are a fraction of the price of a gym ve and will stick to doing for 30 minutes most days per week. If you adore music, cardio dance-inspired workouts like Pound and Zumba offer a way to sweat with your favorite tunes.
or studio membership.
2. Occupy Your Hands
You can dispel your anxiety by keeping your hands busy, making hobbies like knitting and needlepoint some of the best for your condition.
If financial woes contribute to your stress, this best hobby for anxiety can help you bring in some extra cash. Why not learn how to open an Etsy shop to peddle your wares? You can command a pretty penny for custom pieces.
You can also get creative to save the planet while saving yourself cash on raw materials by learning how to repurpose things you already have. Before you toss those old T-shirts, ask whether you could convert them to whimsical throw pillows to decorate your couch. Woodworking is expensive if you buy raw materials at the store, but you can often locate scrap lumber for smaller projects like birdhouses.
3. Express Yourself Creatively
Artists have used their modes of expression to process challenging emotions from time immemorial. If you love to draw or paint, this activity can become one of the best hobbies for anxiety.
One thing you can do when feelings threaten to overwhelm you is put them on canvas. How does your fear look? If you had to create a horror movie monster that personified your stress, what would you sculpt?
4. Help Someone in Need
Anxiety often results from a sense of powerlessness over the world around you. Knowing that you can make a positive impact creates a sense of agency that restores your faith in your abilities. Why not sign up as a volunteer in a local soup kitchen or a neighborhood cleanup crew?
Like exercise, volunteering also alters your brain chemical levels, increasing feel-good ones like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. As a result, you get a rush of positive emotion that helps lower your stress hormones and restore a sense of calm.
If you enjoy working with four-legged friends, but your landlord won’t permit pets, why not sign up to socialize kitties or walk pups for a local shelter? If you have specialized knowledge, you can boost your name recognition in your community by volunteering to help low-income workers file their taxes or apply for financial assistance.
5. Calm Your CNS
Anxiety sends your central nervous system (CNS) into a tailspin. Even if you want to make positive choices, it clouds your judgment and can compel you to behave erratically.
Techniques such as yoga and meditation can calm your central nervous system, allowing you to think clearly about problems and make rational decisions on how to proceed. You don’t need to spend a dime — you can find ample videos to help with both on YouTube.
You can also use mindfulness techniques to quell panic when it strikes. Try the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique next time your heart begins racing. Identify five things you can see, four you can hear, three you can touch, two you can smell and one you can taste to redirect your attention to the present.
Try These 5 Best Hobbies for Anxiety and Tame That Tension
If you feel stressed all the time, your daily habits can help you to find relief. Try these five best hobbies for anxiety and tame your tension.