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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, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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