Reducing Stress With A Hobby

How doing something you love can improve your overall health.

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Herb Garden photo by Wanette Lenling

Everyday Stress

Life today can be extremely stressful. We all seem be be constantly on the run with a never ending list of to-do’s. Career responsibilities along with family expectations can lead to a tremendous amount of stress. And, to add to the madness, the statement, “I’m too busy” is arguably seen in our society as a sign of importance or social status.  You may fear being labeled as lazy if you take time off for yourself. However, this philosophy of busyness can be very detrimental to your health.

Stress-related Health Issues

 It’s now accepted by medical professionals that too much stress can cause everything from headaches and digestive issues to serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.  Therefore, the importance of reducing the amount of stress in your life is actually a very serious health issue, and not a social status debate.

Hobbies Reduce Stress

Hobbies are one way in which you can help reduce stress in your life. Gardening is my hobby. I’ve been a gardener all my life.  All the daily stress melts away and time seems to stop when I’m planting flowers or harvesting vegetables. However, a hobby can be any activity you enjoy from playing sports to sitting down with a cup of tea to read a great book.  According to Dr. Paul J. Rosch of the American Institute of Stress, “just as stress is different for each of us there is no stress reduction strategy that is a panacea.” Therefore, one stress management activity that is right for one person may not be right for you. 

If you’re interested in the idea of a hobby, you may have to experiment a little to find one that’s right for you. The trick is, find a hobby you really like and stick with it.  Make time for your hobby even if it means saying “no” to the demands of your employer or your family for your time.  Saying “no” shows others that you value yourself and your health.  In return, they are likely to show you more respect because you respect yourself.

To keep your body and mind healthy, it is vital that you find a way to release daily stress.  Participating in a hobby you enjoy is just one way to release the stress from your daily grind and improve your overall health in the process.

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