Do you bite your nails until there is nothing left to bite when you are anxious? Raise your hand if you are guilty as charged! – But, what if I tell you there are hobbies that can help with your anxiety?…
Healthier, fun, and low-stress hobbies?
Hobbies that don’t require you to be surrounded by an uncomfortable crowd?
Well, they exist! Let’s review in this post the ten perfect hobbies for people with anxiety!
Top 10 Low-Stress Hobbies for People with Anxiety
Quick note for you! This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission should you chose make a purchase using my link at no extra cost to you.
Walking and exercising
At this point, it is safe to say that exercising helps to solve almost any problem.
Are you too stressed? Exercise.
Need to lose weight? Exercise.
Need to improve circulation? Exercise.
All jokes aside, it is true that exercising is helpful for many things, including mental health.
You might be thinking how much you hate those HIIT cardio routines right now. You feel stressed just to think about them. But, what if I said just a 10-minute walk can still help with your anxiety?
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says “Psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout”.
So? There is no need to do an hour of cardio. Just a 10-minute walk can be a perfect daily hobby for people with anxiety.
Besides, walking outside replenishes your Vitamin D, fills your lungs with fresh air, and gets that blood pumping. Just ten minutes will help keep your mind away from everything that makes you anxious.
Conscious writing has been proved to help with emotions. That’s why a lot of people have turned to journals in recent years as a way to express their emotions healthily.
Yet, you don’t necessarily have to keep a journal to help with anxiety (although it is a great tool for self-help). You can write short stories, a novel, an essay, a list, or a brain dump.
Any type of writing can help with anxiety. Yet, which type of writing you choose depends on why you are writing.
To empty your mind, express your feelings, and stay grounded you can write:
- brain dump
- journal pages
- morning pages
- a list
On the other hand, to distract your mind and have some fun you can write:
- An essay
- A short story
- A novel
- A play
- A poem
The point is, writing can help. It is one of the simplest hobbies for people with anxiety. You just need a pen and paper. And if you are more on the tech side, your phone can work too.
If you need extra help, you can use a guided journal with prompts to help you out. For example, the No Worries Journal is filled with daily prompts and it is designed to help you relieve stress and anxiety.
So many people hate reading. That is, mostly, because they were forced to read things in school they didn’t like.
But, if you are suffering from anxiety, reading is a hobby that can make you feel better! A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress. It also found that it works better and faster than other relaxing methods.
To that, add the benefit that you’ll get smarter if you include reading in your daily routine… Even if it is just by building vocabulary.
If you feel like you hate reading, it is probably because you haven’t found anything that you like yet. You can choose anything from a teen novel with a fantasy plot to an economics book.
To get the relaxing effect it is important that you pick something that doesn’t upset you.
If you are looking for recommendations, you can visit What should I Read Next. Just type an author or the title of something you’ve read before. You’ll get some similar recommendations based on your taste.
If you are more into slow and controlled movement, you can try yoga as a hobby to reduce your anxiety.
Yoga is an in-between dancing and exercising, so it’s perfect if you hate both but still are looking for a hobby that can help you.
A 2017 study showed that people that did just one session of yoga lowered their stress. Why? Yoga focuses mostly on the control of the body and emptying the mind.
As a result, through yoga’s breathing and body exercises, you stay mindful and reduce your stress levels.
You can find beginner-friendly yoga videos on the channel Yoga with Adriene on YouTube.
Hang out with a friend
Sometimes, your anxiety might worsen around the wrong people. But, what about finding the right people?
The Mental Health Foundation says that “Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health”.
If you are feeling anxious about something, get together with a good friend. You don’t have to talk about how you feel if you don’t want to. (Although the ideal thing would be that you express your feelings). Instead, you can go out to eat ice cream or visit the beach.
Spending time with family or friends that makes you feel good is an important hobby for dealing with anxiety.
After all, a good friend not only can help you stay grounded but he always brings the best side of you out.
Listen to music
Ahh, music! Can we agree on the fact that music is a universal language? There is a song for everything!
And yes, there are songs that can help with your anxiety and stress too. Have you ever heard of music therapy?
Well, basically, music is used as a way of therapy instead of traditional counseling. There are different mental health benefits, including a reduction in anxiety levels.
An article in Medical News Today says “those undergoing music therapy experience reduced anxiety immediately after the session, which indicates that music therapy could be a convenient way to reduce symptoms quickly”.
So, if you are feeling anxious, but you won’t go for a walk or write, music can help. Grab your headphones and listen to some feel-good music while you enjoy a sip of coffee.
You can find a great playlist to get motivated in this post.
Crayola’s and Magic Markers aren’t just for kids. Proof of that is the recent growth of “adult” coloring books.
But behind that growth lies one important truth: coloring is a resource to manage your stress. Also, it helps to keep you in the present moment and to stop your brain tornado.
Besides, coloring itself is also a way of expression. You can use colors to picture and understand your emotions better.
Actually, researchers found that “compared to reading, coloring reduced anxiety and improved mindfulness, as measured by the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale”.
So, next time you’re feeling a bit off, try coloring a book. And if you don’t have any yet, get one.
Photography is a popular hobby for many reasons.
But, did you know it is also a hobby for people with anxiety?
Why? Well, besides helping you to express your feelings, photography helps you to stay present. When you are taking pictures, you are focusing only on what’s in front of you. Also, it can change your perspective about the world you live in, often into a positive one.
If you want to try it out, Alison Courses offers free beginner to advanced photography courses. If you are more into books than videos, you can get your photography’s basic from the Digital Photography Complete Course and the National Geographic Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Great Photography
But, don’t worry if you don’t have a professional camera, your phone can do the job perfectly well. This site has a post on the 96 best tips on smartphone photography.
*Cues High School Musical 2 song* I don’t dance! – I know you can! – Not a chance, no!
Well, if you’ve got anxiety, guess what? You should be dancing!
Did you know dance therapy exists and that it helps to reduce anxiety? Actually, dance therapy “is designed to help those trying to cope with severe anxiety, mental and physical trauma, depression, and/or substance dependence”.
Although dance therapy is guided by professionals, that doesn’t mean you can’t try dancing by yourself.
In fact, you can just dance in your room, where nobody is watching. It doesn’t have to look coordinated and pretty. You just have to move your body however you feel like it!
Remember, YOU make the moves. It’s all about enjoying yourself and reducing your anxiety.
I mean, have you ever seen Albert dancing for Hitch in the movie Hitch? If you are feeling like you can’t dance, I invite you to watch this scene. I’ll bet you’ll feel like a pro after this.
We already went over what music therapy is. But, besides listening to music, playing an instrument is also a hobby that can help to reduce your anxiety and improve your mental health.
But, I don’t have any instruments! — Well, did you know there are places where you can borrow an instrument? For example, both the Brooklyn Public Library and the Toronto Public Library have a musical instrument lending library.
With a quick Google search, you can find out if any library or music store close to you lends instruments.
Also, there might be “public” pianos in your country. For example, in South Korea, you can find pianos in random streets and public places available for anyone that wants to sit and play. You can use Pianos.Pub to see if there are any public pianos near you.
Do Hobbies for People with Anxiety Work?
Anxiety is more common than it seems. Yet, there is still little knowledge on how to deal with it.
Starting a new hobby like dancing, doing yoga, or taking pictures is a proven way to help with your anxiety.
Some of these hobbies can help your mind to stay present and focused. Others, like writing and painting, can help you to express and understand your emotions.
So, it just a matter of choosing which one fits you the best. And then? Have fun!
Comment below which ones are your favorites hobbies for anxiety!
Don’t forget to share this with a friend too!