Having a Hobby When You’re Feeling Anxious Can Do Wonders For Your Mental Health – With Benefits Experienced Almost Instantly…
Ready for a full list of hobbies that reduce anxiety and make you feel better?
If you were to believe everything social media and Main Stream Media told you – becoming ‘distracted’ is something that should be frowned upon.
The truth is there are two types of distraction. There are those that are unhealthy for our minds. And then those that can reduce and even eliminate that shaky feeling of uncertainty and fear.
One super-effective way I have found to reduce my anxiety is by engaging in a wide range of hobbies.
Think about it this way…
We’re often told we should exercise our bodies – you know, in a physical way. But we don’t hear anywhere near as much about exercising our minds.
And when we engage in hobbies – both physically and mentally, we can create the perfect conditions to reduce our anxiety.
And the best part? This can all be done with very little effort. It’s a win-win.
Hobbies that reduce our anxiety can help us feel more connected, increase our ‘fun-factor’, and improve our mental health both in the short AND long-term.
Make sure you try at least one of these things the next time you’re feeling really anxious. I promise they can help bring you to a much calmer state of mind – sometimes in a mere matter of minutes.
13+ Hobbies That Will Reduce Anxiety and Make You Feel Better
When you struggle with anxiety you want as many helpful tools in your toolbox that you can get. This is why I put together this list of hobbies to try that reduce anxiety and make you feel better!
1. Practicing Mindfulness
Becoming more mindful allows you to feel less anxious and more in control of your surroundings. Mindfulness helps reduce intrusive thoughts and overwhelming negative feelings towards your life.
This is something I personally love to do.
Every day I set aside just 5 minutes to practice being mindful and have done this for the last year. My anxiety and depression have reduced tremendously and I actually feel way more in control of the thoughts I have.
I always recommend it to anyone who's really struggling with anxiety. For some tips on this, download my free Mindfulness Activities book.
2. Hanging Out With Animals
I have 6 geckos, 2 cats and 2 dogs. Needless to say, I find being around animals to help my anxiety a lot. If you don't have your own animals, you can volunteer at your nearest animal shelter.
Or go to a reptile sanctuary and examine all the exotic animals. Animals are fun because they love to cuddle and don’t talk back.
Who knows, maybe it’s time for you to adopt a new furry creature into your life? It could benefit your mental health in ways you don’t even know.
The idea of meditation sounds nice but it’s kinda hard to get into. Setting aside time daily to do it ends up being a chore.
But, if you want to give it a shot then set an alarm on your phone. Use one of these many popular meditation apps:
As you can tell meditation just starts with 5 minutes a day. Taking that time to be more present in your mind will help you instantly feel better.
I actually look forward to my daily meditation sessions now because they allow me to take a break from all the craziness and be at peace. Which leaves long-lasting effects on my mental wellbeing.
4. Taking a hike
Another benefit to owning a dog is having a companion to go on hikes with.
Being out in nature gives you many mindset benefits. We need exposure to the sun on a daily basis. And nature provides a calming effect that helps center you.
The next time you’re feeling anxious look up a nearby hiking spot. Take some time for yourself and be in nature for the afternoon. Guaranteed you’ll feel much better!
5. Writing in a Journal
If you aren’t ready for meditation yet, journaling is a great alternative. Take a step back from your busy life, cozy up on your couch with a journal, and let all your thoughts out.
This is a great form of self-care and a natural remedy for anxiety. If you can get in the habit of getting your thoughts out on paper, your mind will quiet down.
Expressing your thoughts in any form shines a light on your personal struggles. When there is light, there is very little room for negativity to survive.
That’s why writing can be so helpful in the healing process.
Having a creative outlet like a blog can be a wonderful hobby to reduce anxiety. But it can also be a very lucrative career.
Chelsea from HerPaperRoute earns over $20,000 per month as a blogger and work-from-home mom, and she teaches others how to start money-making blogs via her online blog school.
The awesome thing is you can start a blog about anything that interests you, and then monetize it with any product and brand partnerships that you love. Chelsea teaches clever marketing strategies and simplifies the tech-stuff, so you can confidently grow your blog into a career even as a total newbie.
7. People Watching
Whether you have social anxiety or not, people watching can be a very fun hobby. Think of a busy place, like a mall park or library, where you can discretely people watch.
It’s peaceful to see how other people go about living their lives. There is a lot of relatability in people-watching. As long as you remove any judgment you have of other people.
And if you do struggle with social anxiety, this helps you see how other people are just like you. Everyone else cares about what others think of them and they make mistakes, too.
People-watching can be a humbling experience and can help relieve anxiety.
Imagine going to the Home Depot gardening center on a nice, spring afternoon. Picking out your favorite types of flowers and the sweet smell of grass and soil all around you.
Even if you don’t buy anything, hanging out in the gardening center can help with your anxiety.
But, no matter where you live, you can create your own little garden if you like. That might mean starting with one or two succulents that are easy to maintain.
9. Doing a Puzzle
Puzzles and board games are a great and healthy distraction from anxiety. They help you focus on other things for a couple of hours.
And in a way, they can be so freaking peaceful. Cozy even.
And the cool thing about puzzles is you can start and stop them at any time. They can take as much time as you want them to.
See the top-rated puzzles on Amazon.
Anyone can get into yoga and it’s actually much better for you than a lot of exercises.
You can reap the benefits of a healthy body by doing yoga a few times a week. Not only will your mind be less anxious, but your body will also become stronger over time.
11. Acting Like a Kid Again
Sometimes you just gotta let go of the serious adult and let your inner child play.
Do things you loved to do as a kid. If you have kids or nieces/nephews, make a playdate to go to Jumpstreet. Or go play some laser tag. Even a bike ride around the block will increase your fun levels.
Make sure you are allowing enough fun into your life. This is something we tend to forget when we’re so engulfed in being adults.
And sometimes acting like a kid can be exactly what you need to relieve anxiety.
12. DIYing Your Own Sugar Scrubs
You can get essential oils on Amazon or at your nearest Whole Foods.
Find your favorite ones that help relax you and create some DIY sugar scrubs.
This can make you feel like a kid and aromatherapy will naturally reduce your anxious thoughts.
13. Creating Music Playlists or Listening To A Podcast
Most people have Spotify or Apple Music nowadays (and if you don’t, I highly recommend Spotify). Put your membership to good use and spend an afternoon creating a playlist of all your favorite songs.
The ones you loved as a kid. The ones you listened to during a break-up or tough time in your life. Put all of your feel-good songs into one playlist so you can listen to them whenever you need to.
Or, put on one of these inspirational mental health Podcasts.
There are a lot of places that offer free knitting classes, like your local Recreation Center.
And there are also plenty of online tutorials that will teach you how to knit.
If that has been something you’ve wanted to try, now is the perfect time to do it! Use this as a doctor's note for your anxiety. This is your excuse to learn how to knit and you’ll reap the rewards of a calmer mind.
Related: Knitting Basics: Getting Started
13+ Hobbies That Reduce Anxiety And Make You Feel Better – Conclusion
At the moment when you have anxiety, it doesn’t seem like anything will help. But, taking action and just doing one of these hobbies will help.
They might not completely rid you of anxiety but they will help distract you and make you feel better.
This is so helpful, especially if you don’t have immediate access to a close friend or therapist to talk to. You can even chat or text with an online therapist at any time right here.
Hobbies are a great way to self-soothe your anxiety and make you feel a whole lot better.
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