Mental health used to be a taboo topic in society, but today, it’s being discussed more than ever before. This is a good thing, of course; it means that more people are reaching out and getting the help that they need.
However, many people don’t realise the therapeutic effect a creative hobby can have on those suffering from mental health issues. While it obviously cannot replace a licensed therapist, we firmly believe that pursuing a creative hobby can alleviate some of the discomforts you’re feeling, whether it’s the inability to focus or frequently feeling stressed out. In this article, we’ll be going over a few of the mental health benefits that come with picking up a creative hobby.
Benefits of a creative hobby #1: You’ll find that you’re less stressed out.
Creative hobbies provide an excellent opportunity for you to unwind after a long day at the office. Instead of bringing your work home with you at the end of your day, engaging in a creative hobby can stimulate different regions of your brain, giving you the dopamine boost you need to stay calm, cool and collected.
Benefits of a creative hobby #2: You'll be able to express your negative emotions better.
Creative hobbies provide you with an outlet for your emotions, good or bad. Instead of engaging in destructive behaviours like snapping at your loved ones or emotional eating when you’re feeling upset, pursue a creative hobby.
They’re different from regular hobbies in that they require a greater amount of concentration. Don’t believe us? Consider this: Which do you think needs more of your focus, going for a jog or painting a beautiful scene?
The fact that you can’t zone out during the activity forces you to expend the negative energy you’re feeling on something you enjoy, instead of being miserable. In the end, you’ll have enjoyed yourself, and you won’t feel as bad as you did at the start.
So, the next time you feel unhappy or dissatisfied with an area of your life, reach for your paintbrush!
Benefits of a creative hobby #3: You’ll enter the zone more frequently
As you go through the process of picking up a new creative hobby, whether it’s in the form of oil painting or simple colouring, you’ll discover that you’re able to enter the “flow” state much more quickly.
Have you ever been so focused on a task that everything in the background seems to fade away? Even if someone called out your name, it’d take a few seconds for you to realise it. This state is known by many creatives as the “flow” state, or being “in the zone”.
You’ll find that you’re much more relaxed and productive in the flow state than you usually are. Imagine painting a beautiful portrait, and all of your attention is solely focused on the ink released from your paintbrush as it glides along the paper. This state will help you get much more work done since you’ll be focused. People who regularly enter the flow state also claim to feel better overall, as it tends to have a calming effect on those who regularly experience it.
Benefits of a creative hobby #4: Builds your self-esteem and your confidence.
No matter how simple they may seem to the undiscerning eye, all hobbies have a learning curve. Whether you’re trying to play the piano or you’re writing a novel, it’s expected that you’ll run into some challenges along the way. You’ll find yourself getting frustrated at the difficulties you face, and you might even consider the possibility of quitting from time to time.
However, if you do persevere through these challenges, you’ll have gained two main things. Firstly, you’ll have picked up a new skill you didn’t have beforehand. More importantly, you’ll feel a surge of pride. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment in knowing that you were able to overcome a challenge that was in your way. You’ll then be able to apply the lessons you’ve learned from this experience and apply them to the challenges you face in your daily life.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our article! As we continue to learn more about mental health, it’s essential that we remember to go easy on ourselves. Remember: We’re all learning and improving with each day that passes.
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