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5 New Hobbies For the Creatively Restless

5 New Hobbies For the Creatively Restless

There is no escaping the fact that a lot of us are sleep-walking through many of our days like zombies. Work has become a grind that no longer inspires us quite like it used to and we have taken to falling into the refuge of the online versions of ourselves more and more often. This disconnection from our real self is simply not healthy.

The internet and social media offer us wonderful opportunities to grow and develop every day, but we cannot allow the virtual world to subsume who we really are. I know all of this is to be true because I feel it intensely myself. I think it’s time for us to all wake up a little and get back to who we really are. One of the easiest ways to start this transformation is by taking up some new hobbies.

There are a multitude of interesting new hobbies that you can try out. The following options will resonate with almost everybody. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, or simply somebody who feels at a loose end, taking up one of these new hobbies will bring back some creativity to your life.

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1. Writing

In my experience this is one of the new hobbies that many people often dream of doing, but for some reason never get around to. Friends who have told me they would love to write leave me perplexed, as surely this is one of the easiest things anybody could do. Perhaps the very process of writing is just such a personal one that some people find it daunting to take on. Others may dream of writing a beautiful poem, or an epic novel, but are blocked from doing so by the sheer fear of not being able to pull it off.

As a writer myself, I can promise you that it is one of the most rewarding and challenging hobbies that you could ever take up. The ability to relay your experiences into words is a wonderful feeling. It helps you better process and understand the world around you.

Writing is unique in that all you need to get started is a pen and some paper. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you need to know the rules of grammar, or to have read all of the classics, before you have a go at it for yourself. The best writing is always that which is the most honest. Whether you write a diary or a journal just for you, or you’re interested in getting into poetry or fiction, as long as you believe in what you are doing, you simply cannot go wrong.

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2. Meditation

Meditation is an interesting and perhaps controversial addition to this list as some would suggest it is not really a hobby. These people may be right, meditation is more than just a hobby, but one of the secrets of meditation is that it is really nothing more than about you learning to be happy and at one with yourself. In the context of why we’re looking for new hobbies in the first place, I believe this fact warrants its place on this list.

For those new to meditation, it can be a practice that can at first feel a little unusual. This is fine, meditation is indeed a little bit unusual, but that is also part of its beauty. You can approach meditation from a certain spiritual perspective and delve into the religion behind it. It is also something that you can just impulsively decide to introduce into your life all of a sudden. Just sitting alone in a quiet place is enough for you to get started. Just this very simple intention of dedicating a tiny part of your day to silence and contemplation can have a huge impact on your life.

3. Flower Arranging

Flower arranging is a great new hobby for the creatively restless. Not only does it allow you to employ your creative talents to make something beautiful, but it also lets you interact with nature at the same time. Most people love plants and flowers anyway, but these are usually one of those things that we often let drift by at the edge of our lives.

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Flower arranging might sound like one of those new hobbies that could end up hurting your pocket, but it does not need to be expensive. Over time you will learn more on how to get the most out of your favourite flowers and use them in ways you would have never thought possible before. Not only will flower arranging automatically brighten up your home, it will also help put a spring in your step as this practice is said to be highly therapeutic.

4. Calligraphy

If like me, you have a terrible handwriting, taking calligraphy up as one of your new hobbies could have more practical benefits than just passing time creatively. This may seem like one of the more complicated new hobbies to try your hand at, but it really isn’t all that different from writing. The main difference being that you are going to need to invest in a fancy nib, a nice pot of ink, and some higher quality paper.

Learning calligraphy may also sound a little bit more technical than the more usual hobbies, but a few quick web searches will soon have you directed towards a multitude of really useful instructional blogs and videos.

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5. Get Out Into Nature

Okay this one will probably apply mainly to city-dwellers, but it’s amazing just how much a lot of us insist on remaining confined to a very narrow physical space. Home, work, eat, drink, home, repeat. This is probably a pretty accurate picture of the majority, even those that actually live quite close to nature.

Getting out into nature is one of the most healthy new hobbies you can do and I guarantee you that no matter where you live, you will be amazed at just how much amazing nature there is within not much more than an hour’s journey time from your home. Taking advantage of the nature around is not just a physically healthy exercise. The complete disconnect that you feel once you’ve left your town or city behind will really give your emotions a boost and leave you feeling a lot more motivated to take on the week ahead.

Featured photo credit: Moyan Brenn via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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