4 Hobbies Which Are Scientifically Proven To Improve Mental Health
In the past decades, people spend their days doing their hobbies. It was a regular sight to see couples taking dancing classes, a brother enrolled in a sports clinic, or friends going for bowling. These days, however, technology has taken over. Because of this, studies show that mental health problems are rapidly rising while time spent on hobbies is going down.
If you are looking to solve some of your recurring mental health problems, it is important to engage yourself with new, or even old, hobbies. Here are some hobbies which are scientifically proven to improve mental health.
Whether you prefer tango dancing with a partner or just breaking out into a freestyle dance, dancing is an effective way to release some stress from your body. Dancing boosts the endorphin levels in your body since it is a cardiovascular activity. Additionally, it is a hobby which enables you to interact and form bonds with other people. It will keep your emotions in check.
Capturing the beauty of the world through the lens of the camera can help you improve your mood and outlook in life. According to a study called Arts on Prescription Project, photography has been proven to affect an individual’s mental health status positively. The research showed the following effects on the respondents:
- 71 percent indicated a decrease in anxiety.
- 76 percent reported a positive boost in their well-being.
- 73 percent reflected a decline in depression level.
Involving yourself with this activity reminds you that there are still a lot of good things in the world. Try creating a photo album with your captured pictures as well. You can look at your images whenever you are feeling a little bit down.
Mind-body exercises include tai chi, qigong, and yoga. According to various journals, these kinds of activities are effective ways to stop mental health problems such as mood disorders, anxiety, and depression. Listed below are some of the studies which proved its positive effects:
- Huffington Post recorded that 90 percent of people say that doing yoga as the starter for their days helps them improve their mood and manage their stress throughout the day.
- Mayo Clinic reports that mind-body exercises are not only perfect for flexibility and pain management but are also fit when it comes to pain management and recovering from illness.
- The National Institute of Medicine also said that these exercises boost the output of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a chemical in the body which guides us to get out of a narrow-minded perspective. It also eliminates some of the symptoms of anxiety and stress. A single hour spent in yoga is proven to increase the levels of GABA by a whopping 27 percent.
Getting your hands dirty, a breath of fresh air, the amazing aura of the flowers—these are some of the various reasons why gardening can be one of the best hobbies to venture into. It is a relaxing activity which has been proven to calm the mind. It can be an effective therapeutic pastime whether you are just looking at the flowers or rhythmically plowing the garden bed.
If you want to lift your mental health, these are only a few activities you can involve yourself with. If you have a different taste, you can find other hobbies—revive old passions, learn new things per week, or ask help from others.