In today’s productivity-driven culture, many of us suffer from stress. Too many people are stressed at work, at home, or when we’re running errands. And if this stress seeps into our personal lives, we can become depressed.
Research has shown that creative hobbies have the power to improve your mental health. There are also plenty of creative pastimes that can help fight off stress. So, in this article, we list a handful of creative hobbies that will make you happy.
1. Learn Photography
Photography is one of many artistic hobbies that you can pick up. Instead of creating something out of nothing, photography is all about capturing the beauty that already exists around us, either in nature, at home, or on the streets.
One of the most important reasons why you should learn photography is that it can change the way you see the world, often for the better. Not only does it train you to see things from multiple perspectives, it helps you see things that you would normally overlook.
More relevantly, photography can also invoke happiness. According to a 2016 study by the American Psychological Association, taking photographs can make you more mentally engaged.
That said, like all creative hobbies, there is a learning curve to it. So don’t expect yourself to be an expert photographer right away. Once you get a handle on the basics, however, it’s one of the most satisfying and fulfilling skills you’ll ever learn.
To get started, we recommend thee online photography courses for beginners.
2. Learn How to Garden
After 8-10 hours stuck in an office or otherwise trapped indoors, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have much connection with the earth. However, what if we told you that gardening has been scientifically proven to lift your mood?
Would that make you more likely to step outside and get down in the dirt?
Consider this Preventive Medicine Reports study from 2016, where researchers reported that the correlated mental health effects of gardening are overwhelmingly positive.
Additionally, an article by the BBC goes on to explain how gardening can assist you in achieving a longer, healthier life.
Speaking from personal experience, I can definitely say that gardening has improved my mood, allowed me to get more exercise, and be creative, too.
Additionally, by planting a vegetable garden, it has eased my anxiety over food security. Nothing makes you feel better than knowing that you can grow everything at home.
Overall, gardening is one of the best creative hobbies that can make you happy. Learning how to garden can be a scary prospect, but there are applications designed to make it easier. Here are some helpful gardening apps to help you get started.
3. Start a Journal
Learning how to write is often associated with creative blocks. It’s not unheard of for famous authors to be so tormented by their psyches that they end up depressed.
However, many people actually write for fun. In fact, certain kinds of writing are incredibly therapeutic. An article by Ian Sample of The Guardian explains that “writing about your feelings can help the brain overcome emotions and leave you feeling happier.”
Overall, this expressive writing could mean the difference between you being stressed out and feeling relaxed. Fortunately, expressive writing is one of the easiest creative hobbies to get into. All you need is a word processing program, or some paper and a pen or pencil.
From there, you can begin writing about anything you want. And we recommend just letting it flow from your brain to the page and seeing what happens.
4. Learn How to Draw and Paint
Are you looking for more artsy creative hobbies? Drawing and painting can be used as an expressive tool to help you cope with stress and trauma.
The term “art therapy” was coined in 1942, and in simple terms it’s the use of visual mediums to help you ease anxious feelings by expressing yourself with lines, shapes, and colors. Since its emergence in the 1940s, art therapy has been one of the many tools that therapists use to treat psychological distress.
In an article on Psychology Today, Dr. Cathy Malchiodi explains that “art expression helped them to put their emotions and non-verbal experiences into words,” in reference to a study’s participants.
Even if you don’t attend official art therapy sessions, you can still reap the benefits by drawing or painting your own. These days, most art is done digitally, and because it’s digital you can learn how to draw online, too.
We recommend starting with these websites that will teach you how to draw, to learn the basics. Once again, arty hobbies can make you happy, too.
5. Learn How to Cook and/or Bake
One of the most reliable hobbies to make you happy is cooking and baking. Time spent in the kitchen might be a nightmare for some, but once you get past your kitchen fears you’ll realize it’s a wonderful skill to have.
According to a comprehensive, well-researched article by The Huffington Post, the creative aspects of cooking and baking can help us express our innermost thoughts during a stressful time when words do not seem to be enough.
“When baking for other people, baking can also be a helpful way to communicate one’s feelings. Susan Whitbourne, professor of psychology and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts, points to the cultural norm of bringing food to someone when a loved one has passed.”
Cooking can wash away your stress, and it does this by allowing you to channel undesirable or unhealthy energy into something productive or beautiful. This is also evidenced by people using baking as a way to cure manic depression, according to a fascinating article by the BBC.
Essentially, like art therapy, cooking and baking are happy hobbies that can have a positive effect on the brain.
Plus, cooking your own meals from scratch is often healthier than eating out, and can help slash your household expenses. These two things can help reduce stress, and thus improve your mental wellbeing.
To get started, check out the best online cooking guides for beginners.
Creative Hobbies Can Make You Happy
Being able to explore your creative potential can make you a happier person. And there are millions of people out there who can attest to this.
While these creative hobbies are fun, they aren’t just for fun. Creativity can have real, positive benefits on your mental wellbeing, and we think it’s important that this distinction should be made.
If you want to live a happier life, here’s how to check your stress levels and relax your mind.
Read the full article: 5 Creative Hobbies for Adults That’ll Make You a Happier Person