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Six Hobbies That Can Help You Beat Stress

Six Hobbies That Can Help You Beat Stress

Stress is something that almost all of us suffer from at some point in our lives. Science says a little stress is good, but too much of it can begin to cause serious problems. One of the easiest ways to reduce stress in your life is to turn your attention towards other things.

Speak to any specialist, and you’ll hear words like ‘do what you love to beat stress.’ Stress is basically our reaction to changes in or around our lives. It is also related to overthinking, so the best solution is to do or think about things we love. If we spend a while focused on something not stressful, our overall stress levels are reduced.

To help you live a life with less stress, here are six hobbies that will help you stay happy and relaxed.

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1. Photography

Most people like to think that photography is a very expensive hobby and includes spending money on costly cameras, lenses, and travel to tourist places. While these may be required for a professional shoot, you can do well without the ‘expensive’ part when it comes to photography as a hobby.

Use your phone’s camera and anything, including your best friend, your friend’s wedding venue, or your meal, can turn into your object. Photography is all about getting immersed in the moment and looking at things from a different perspective. And if it goes well, you can turn it into a rewarding profession.

2. Gardening

If you are fond of greenery and flowers, this hobby is just the right hobby for you. Gardening will require some information about the right kinds of plants for your region and how to take care of those plants. Fortunately, most of the information can be acquired online or from your local nursery.

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Gardening helps in more ways than one. You will be around nature, in fresh air, and also get to enjoy the fruits of your hobby (literally).

3. Coloring

According to several studies, coloring is one of the best ways to reduce stress. However, some experts also argue that the effects of this hobby are temporary. Nonetheless, it is affordable and keeps your brain focused, especially if you get down to coloring complex mandalas and books specifically designed to beat stress.

The trick is to get your mind busy creating a piece of art that leaves you and everyone else around you mesmerized. In addition to coloring, you can also try painting.

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4. Cooking

Who doesn’t love food? If the aroma of fresh meals attracts you, it is time to wear your chef’s uniform and step into the kitchen. Pick veggies from your garden, cook using your skills, and take photographs of your newly cooked masterpieces, and bid adieu to a stressful life.

5. Yoga

Yoga has been proven to reduce stress. It takes you away from the troubles of the real world. It is difficult to master yoga, and some asanas may take years to perfect; it is still a very good way to reduce stress. You can start with simple exercises by going through tutorials online. However, getting enrolled in a class is always a wise idea.

6. Reading and Writing

Pick up your favorite book and start reading. It is an addictive hobby that can keep you busy for hours and benefit you in many ways. And if you’re feeling a little creative after finishing your first book, you can start creating your own novella as well. However, try to stick to stories or books that do not remind you of sad realities.

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You can also take part in any sport you like, and mingle with others and make new friends. All in all, the key lies in concentrating on things that make you happy, so you can lower your stress.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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