“That’s what true hobbies can do— they help us to relax.” ~ Bikshya Saikia
All these years, hobbies have made a substantial impact on how I live my life. There’s something about hobbies and the sheer process of it, because it’s done for our own sake and betterment, and our enjoyment is not belittled by results or deadlines.
There are some hobbies that get turned into a profession.
That is a slightly different matter because aiming for a profession brings results and goals into the picture. Just then it has become more than just a hobby. Even in that case though, you might retain some parts of it for yourself.
Say, if someone has turned his art into a profession, he might find himself doodling in a textbook in addition to drawing curated pieces for clients. That would help him unwind and relax. And that’s what true hobbies can do— they help us relax.
In today’s world we are bound by entertainment. And stereotypically, entertainment relies a lot on consumption. Yet when we talk about hobbies in the traditional sense, it also involves doing, or creating or a slight deliberation rather than just mindless consumption.
Hence even though things like scrolling the phone, texting etc. might be called hobbies by some, there’s only consumption involved there. But the tasks that involve some elements of creation or deliberate work can add a different tangent to our lives, and can calm us down.
On the other hand, too many mind-numbing activities like scrolling doesn’t truly help to calm you down, even though it may provide you with a slice of entertainment. A restlessness thrives in those activities, channeling hungry hearts that crave for more every second, the resulting effect of which is helplessness and dissatisfaction.
In contrast there are those deeds or tasks you might consider a friend. Because the joy that these provide is simple, an unfiltered one that isn’t just a rush of adrenaline. It’s something that is more present with you, not a listless energy that needs feeding of more content.
“Hobbies are meant to be enjoyed from one’s heart. If one is miserable doing something then that can never be called a hobby. But there’s something for all of us. And it’s good to experiment.”~ Bikshya Saikia
There are a variety of hobbies and a lot of them don’t take a bulk of your effort or time. The ones that are mentioned here have the innate capability of adding value to every person’s life, even if they could spare only a few minutes of their time for these.
Let’s have a look.
6 Comforting Hobbies to Be Enjoyed from One’s Heart
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”~ George R.R. Martin
A hobby like reading has always been on the run. You might call it a niche thing or say that the bookish community is small, but nevertheless it has always been there- that group of dedicated individuals drawing in a lot of joy and positivity through the simple act of reading. But nowadays more people are showing up after having acknowledged the benefits of reading.
There are all kinds of books. There are a variety of genres. Thus books can cater to a lot of people if they know their preferences and can get proper recommendations based on such preferences.
There are epic adventure books catering to the lovers of imaginary worlds, there are exhilarating mystery books and crime fiction books for the ones in search of an adrenaline boost, there are a range of informative books in the likes of historical fiction and non-fiction, or books on science and nature and human evolution.
There are a range of thought provoking material for those who like to think and reflect- the books of the great philosophers for example, or the classics and literary fiction. And the books come in different sizes. Thus there are a range of great short books as well, the ones that can be read in just a few hours.
And book recommendations are accessible since the bookish community has a separate space in social media platforms like instagram, youtube, twitter and the overall blogging sphere. Book bloggers are always on the rise and continue to recommend books for a wide range of people.
In the presence of quick entertainments, the books have always remained, ceaseless in their charms. It is something that requires some amount of deliberation. Hence even though a type of consumption, it involves your focus and attention. But with little effort one can easily get into the flow and love every moment of reading.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”~ Maya Angelou
Journaling is a wonderful exercise, a habit that’s simple and doesn’t require expensive tools. A notebook and a pen would suffice. You could start out by just writing about the day, or your thoughts, or describe your surroundings and the weather.
You could write about the books you have read, the people you have met or the people who have impacted your life. You could write about an end number of things really. There are no hard rules, especially if you are writing for the love of it.
You shouldn’t be too conscious about producing something grand since it’s just slow deliberate writing for one’s own benefit. You could also take journaling to the next level and become more creative with it.
There are types of journaling like art journaling, scrapbook journaling that tests yout artistic side. And once started, these activities could engage you for hours and make you a better individual by letting you sharpen your creativity, which in turn would reduce your stress levels and bring in a lot of relaxation.
Colouring isn’t just for artists or for the one in the professional domain. It’s an activity that’s open for all. Colouring requires very little effort. You can experiment with colours with freedom, in your own way, without being too conscious of your work.
To proceed with it, you can take up a simple children’s colouring book, or a random notebook, and a few colours and start colouring. Before you know it, you could easily achieve a sense of flow and might produce something truly remarkable. But the goal isn’t about what you create. It’s more about the process. Here, colouring is spoken about in a therapeutic sense.
“Colouring is a healthy way to relieve stress. It calms the brain and helps your body relax. This can improve sleep and fatigue while decreasing body aches, heart rate, respiration, and feelings of depression and anxiety.”~ Mayo Clinic Health System
4. Learning an instrument
Music has always proved to be healing. And in addition to listening to it, if you can also find ways to create it or add their own elements to it, it can prove to be a creative endeavour that fulfils them in innumerable ways.
You can think of a guitar in your hands and how the slightest touch against the strings can bring forth a melody. It can be rewarding to hear yourself play, toying with that tune. That interconnection with the music and your emotions can bring forth a balance to your moods. Instruments are said to improve hand-eye coordination.
This is proved in the case of musicians. We can all strive to achieve at least some form of coordination for our raging limbs that are often dictated by anxiety through the use of an instrument.
While walking at length you might forget the chaos of the world and drop their burdens for a while. Walking has an inert ability to help you with their stress levels, shooing away the unwanted and overburdened thoughts. Many times I have found myself worrying incessantly and then when I had stepped outside and walked, my thoughts had ceased a little.
Having caught up with the surroundings that were fuelled with bird songs, alongside trees that were invigorated with health, I had a chance to balance the pace of my changing moods. In simple words, relaxation comes to one easily if he is a walker. And there are many more health benefits that are often relayed by the medical industry, benefits that go beyond eliminating stress.
Some of these benefits include improving the immune system, alleviating the stiffness of joints, helping with insomnia, improving cognitive ability etc. There are innovative and unique forms of walking in traditional cultures such as shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, in Japan.
Again this is not just catered to professional works of photography. Mundane everyday objects can be captured well enough by anybody, and can act as pictorial journal entries. We often stumble upon a new place.
We come across a number of things around us, many of which deserve our attention. These can be photographed as a means of memory keeping, or you can make them look more artistic with the help of the camera. That flower pot in the corner. That book one has been reading. That odd looking pillar on the street.
Object photography is already a well known profession. It’s fun to capture objects from different angles. It’s interesting to see them through the camera lens. We get to observe them even better. Or if we happen to pass by nature then that’s a bonus, because nature isn’t devoid of beautiful things. When it comes to photography as a hobby, there aren’t many rules regarding what you needs to capture or how.
The activities mentioned above are the simpler ones, the ones that consume less time. There’s no scarcity of such kinds of activities and there are many variations to these. Apart from the ones that are described here, there are others that involve one’s physique like exercising, stretching, or playing a sport.
Any of the above mentioned activities could thus be easily combined with a physical hobby. This conjunction could churn our better results, like increased mental and physical strength, a deep relaxation and deduced stress.
Hobbies don’t have to be singular. And they don’t have to follow specific rules. Hobbies are meant to be enjoyed from one’s heart. If one is miserable doing something then that can never be called a hobby. But there’s something for all of us. And it’s good to experiment.
The idea is to be consistent with the hobbies you choose to pick up, so as to acquire that element of calm you desperately seek, amidst the mindless humdrum of life.