6 Hobbies That Will Make You a Happier Person

This post is brought to you by Carrie Spencer from thespencersadventures.net who has a family mini-farm and is passionate about living self-sustainable and environmentally conscious.

“Valuing your time more than the pursuit of money is linked to greater happiness.” That’s what the experts at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology say, and they have the research to back it up.

It’s not really news that hobbies as part of a mental health getaway are good for you, though. Scientists have known for a long time that the mental and physical benefits hobbies offer to make the activities we do just for fun a very important part of our lives. In addition to making us happier for the moment, studies cited in Shape magazine show hobbies have worthwhile long-term effects as well, like making us smarter and more interesting and helping us meet people.

A few minutes a day of pleasurable activity can even help mitigate or avoid mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Here are 6 hobbies to bolster your mental health.

Physical Activity

From individual activities like running or swimming to organized group sports like soccer or kickball, physical activity is one of the most popular and beneficial ways to spend your free time because it engages both your body and your mind. And no matter what type of physical activity you choose, the benefits are the same. In addition to better overall health, physical activity causes your brain to release endorphins and serotonin, leaving you happier and less stressed.

Podcasting

Whether you want to educate, share knowledge, or entertain, a podcast is a terrific way to provide high-quality content for listeners. To get started, you’ll need to come up with a creative name for your podcast and invest in some equipment such as recording software and a high-quality microphone

Gardening

When most people think of gardening, rows, and rows of veggies come to mind. But like physical activity, there’s a type of garden for everyone. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, an herb garden might be a good place to start. Just a few small spots on your kitchen counter can be a big boost to your mood.

Want to take it a step further? Depending on how much space you have, you could do a few fruits and veggies in a raised bed, a vertical garden, or just a few hanging pots. Or, if you’d prefer to share the responsibility, community gardens are popular in urban and rural areas alike. Any way you do it, making things grow can give you a real sense of accomplishment, another one of the keys to happiness.

Arts & Crafts

There’s a reason “adult coloring” has become so popular. Self-expression through creativity is a top stress-reliever. As an added bonus, arts and crafts are typically easy and relatively inexpensive to access. For the do-it-yourself type, you can find free online courses on just about anything from hand-lettering to home renovation.

If you want a little more structure and direction, try your local community college’s continuing education program. Just remember that hobbies don’t have to be fancy or expensive to be beneficial. Even putting a pencil on a piece of paper for a few minutes counts.

Reading

If you’re looking for a hobby you can do anytime, anywhere, reading is for you. There are several apps that allow you to download and read just about anything right from your smartphone or tablet. It’s never been easier to get lost in a fictional world, learn something new, or thumb through the latest issue of your favorite magazine. Of course, if you prefer the weight of a book in your hand, local libraries and bookstores are still an option. It’s even possible to make reading a social activity by joining a book club, either virtually or in real life.

Collections of All Kinds

It doesn’t have to be stamps, comic books, or baseball cards, though those are excellent choices. You can collect just about anything, and searching for your next piece online or in-person is part of the fun. Seriously. A friend of mine collects action figures. He sold a third of his collection last year and made enough money to pay for his wedding!

Concluding Thoughts

And that’s just the start. Thankfully, anyone can experience these positive side effects because a hobby can be literally anything that brings you joy. It can be something you’ve enjoyed your whole life or something entirely new. It can be something you enjoy with a group or something you do entirely by yourself. It can take on any form and be done at any time of day.

You can even turn your hobby into a profitable side business or even a full-time career. If you need more space for a home office or studio, you may need to upgrade your residence. Just be sure you incorporate good time management practices to ensure you don’t overdo it. As long as you’re doing it because you want to and not because you have to, you’ll experience the positive mental and physical health benefits a hobby can provide.

3 Life-Changing Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs

So I did a quick search, because there is no need to reinvent the wheel, and I found a couple of habits that are said to be part of the routine of multiple entrepreneurs. I think the most important thing about these habits is not exactly what you will get from them individually but the transformative energy you will generate while pursuing them. 

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5 Offline Activities You Must Add To Your Well-being Routine

Spending time offline is very important to our mental health and wellbeing. Sometimes it seems rather difficult, however, to disconnect from our devices and social media channels. We became used to the idea that reaching to our mobile phones to use the internet or check our emails every two minutes are acceptable modern habits, behaviors we can’t live without. These behaviors can be, nonetheless, signs of phone addiction and inability, for instance, to practice non-doing.

A 2015 study by Silentnight concluded that people nowadays spend more time on their mobile phones and laptops than sleeping. This means people are not only more exposed to several electromagnetic frequencies, which can negatively impact our health and wellbeing in the long run, but they are also depriving themselves of important healthy habits such as sleeping enough, having quality time with others or keeping an active lifestyle.

To counteract this mindless tendency, in this post I’m suggesting 5 different activities that will not only contribute to your well-being but also help you stay offline more often.

1. Journaling

Get yourself a little notebook and take some time off to sit down somewhere nice and quiet to write down your thoughts and feelings. Writing is an incredible way to practice self-reflection and develop self-awareness. When we write, we may even explore aspects of our existence that we were not aware of, but which can bring us new insights and helpful information to improve our daily decision-making processes.

2. Walking

Going for a walk is one of my favorite ways of connecting with myself. It is also a great relaxation method. Whenever my mind is busy with some sort of problem, I go out for a walk and I always come back with a clearer perspective of what was bothering me in the first place. You don’t need to do long distances through – a ten to fifteen-minute power walk can bring you a lot of health and wellbeing benefits.

3. Meal Sharing

In Southern European countries (and most Latin countries), meals are often a social moment. It’s an opportunity to gather people around a table and enjoy each other’s company. You don’t need to be sharing a meal with a big group though. You can invite your best friend or partner for a cute picnic or a homemade meal. You can even order your food if you want to. Just make sure you won’t be spending time on Instagram uploading pictures of what you are eating!

4. Reading

Ok, I know you may not be a book lover – or maybe you are -, but one of my favorite ways to disconnect is to spend some time studying a book. I’m a non-fiction kind of booklover, so I love devouring a book and then taking several notes on what I find interesting. Some of those notes become blog posts later on, so this is definitely a great option to spend more time offline and yet still be a productive blogger!

5. Forest Bathing

I told you about walking already, right? Forests are one of my favorite places to walk in because it’s free from all those weird vibrations and electromagnetic frequencies that harm our energy. I always feel replenished after spending some time in a forest or some other place where nature conquers everything!

Concluding Thoughts

It’s good for our health and well-being to spend some time away from the digital world. There are a lot of different activities you can engage with when you are offline. Sometimes we don’t recall how restoring these activities can be so I hope this list can remind and inspire you to go offline and look after yourself.

5 Ideas to Make Your Life Better Right Now

Sometimes, small changes or habits can change and have a great direct impact on the way we are perceiving life and how we are feeling about something distressful that might have happened to us. Whether you are going through a rough patch or you are simply interested in improving the quality of your life, there are practical ideas you can adopt right now to uplift your mood and increase your well-being. Here are five ideas you can use to make your life better right now.

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The 4 Jewels of Well-being

According to neuroscientist Richard Davidson, well-being is a skill, and it can be developed with practice. It’s like learning to walk or playing the piano. The more you practice it, the more you strengthen the neuronal circuits associated with well-being, and the better you get at it. These neuronal circuits are plastic and thus can be expanded and trained. They are awareness, connection, insight, and purpose.

Awareness

I like to say awareness is your ability to scan reality. As a scanner, you are not meant to process or edit data but to really look at what is there. Mindfulness-based practices, such as mindful coloring or mindfulness meditation, are great tools to develop this circuit and expand your awareness. If you are a beginner in this topic, you can listen to my free guided introduction to Mindfulness Meditation here.

Connection

Human beings are wired for connection and bonding. If you look at the old and yet fascinating experiences of Harry Harlow with baby monkey rhesus, it becomes obvious that the desire to connect with comforting figures fulfills an important need: the need for closeness. Once your basic needs (e.g. food) are satisfied, affection speaks louder and our attention goes towards building empathic relationships with others.

Insight

Know thyself is an ancient adage, supposedly written in Apollo’s Temple at Delphi, Greece. Self-knowledge is essential. Knowing your emotions, thoughts, and modus operandi work as a personal guide and compass. If you don’t invest time in knowing yourself, you will eventually feel lost and with no direction to go. As Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living.

Purpose

Through Insight, you can find Purpose and Meaning in life. A person who lives towards a greater purpose has a reason to live, and studies have shown that people with purpose tend to live ten years more. What makes you feel happy and uplifted is linked to your purpose. The more you ignore that, the more likely you are to be depressed, anxious, and even physically sick.

Concluding Thoughts

I would say these four neuronal circuits are the four jewels of well-being. Once you put your effort and attention into developing these, you will be on the fast track towards greater happiness and well-being. Practice takes patience but it also brings great transformation.

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