You can eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, stay hydrated, and sleep eight hours every night, but if you’re always restless and stressed, your health will suffer in the long run. Starting a mentally stimulating hobby can help improve your holistic well-being by providing you a healthy outlet and distraction from your worries and fears. Life shouldn’t be spent simmering in misery and stress. If you’d like to get your mind off things and allow your body and mind to just relax, read on for these 5 Healthy Hobbies That Will Improve Your Life!
1. Keep a journal
If you’re often caught up in your thoughts but can’t make sense of them, one of the healthy hobbies you should start is writing in a journal. Writing in a journal will help you articulate the things that are running rampant in your mind, so you can get rid of the mental clutter and work on understanding yourself and what really matters most, better. It’s also an excellent outlet to release your negative thoughts and emotions, so you don’t unintentionally lash out on anyone. Further, journal writing lets you exercise your communication skills and keep track of your personal growth.
2. Read a book
What exercise is to the body, reading is to the mind. There are tons of benefits to reading books as a hobby. An obvious one, is that it doesn’t cost much. Books can be expensive, but you don’t really need to buy them to read them. You can borrow from the library or from a friend. If you must buy a copy, most titles have e-book versions, which are handy to read on your smartphone. Plus, reading broadens your knowledge and understanding of the world and yourself, making you smarter, happier, less stressed or depressed in the process.
3. Go forest bathing (aka shinrin-yoku in Japan)
The Japanese have a practice called shinrin-yoku, or “forest-bathing”. Forest-bathing is not about exercising or working up a sweat, it’s about taking in the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of the forest. You can walk around the forest, lose yourself in the scenery and atmosphere, and feel your fears, worries, and negative emotions dissipate as they quietly, tranquilly become absorbed by the forest.
4. Learn an instrument
This helps improve your verbal memory, literacy skills, and spatial reasoning. When you learn to play the guitar, the piano, or another instrument, both sides of your brain are at work, which stimulates your memory. Plus, there’s nothing like the shot of confidence you get every time you play a song smoothly.
5. Play golf
Some people will tell you that golf is a boring, old-peoples hobby, but it’s not. In fact, golf requires intense focus, sharp senses, and exceptional hand-to-eye coordination. In short, it’s a sport that compels you to be mentally and physically present, alert, and engaged. Swinging a golf club isn’t as easy as it looks. Aside from excellent coordination, you need the power to hit the ball and get it inside a tiny hole that’s some distance away. Without a golf cart, you’ll be walking around quite a bit on a massive golfing course and working up a sweat.
If you prefer to use your energy to actually play golf and not hike from one hole to another, make sure to take your own golf cart or rent one for the game. Most golf carts run using electric batteries, so always remember to charge yours before the game. Better yet, get an automatic golf cart battery charger so you never get caught with a dead battery when it’s time to play a game.
6. Try hiking
Hiking not only provides great exercise for the body, it also allows the mind to disengage from distractions and distress. When you’re hiking, you don’t think about your deadlines for work, your annoying coworker, or your other problems. You’ll be too busy focusing on where you’re going or where to put your feet so you don’t trip or fall on a root or rock. Hiking also lets you get away from the noise and distractions of the city as you immerse yourself in the peace and quiet of nature.