Did you think that the only thing you could do to relax after a long day is binge the latest Netflix hit show with a beer in hand? There’s nothing wrong with doing so from time to time, but making it a daily habit can leave you feeling hollow and unfulfilled. There’s more to you than your job title.
Fortunately, engrossing yourself in positive pastimes can lead to greater fulfillment and happiness. Here are eight meditative hobbies that help alleviate stress — give them a try and see what difference they can make in your life.
Woodworking can become the ultimate meditative hobby. You need to remain mindful when working with heavy equipment like jigsaws or risk losing a finger. Focusing your full attention on the present moment tells spiraling future fears to take a hike, at least temporarily.
However, this hobby also provides plenty of time for quiet contemplation. Sanding a block to satin smoothness keeps your hands busy while your mind wanders.
2. Building Models
Your hobbies should provide you with a break from your work duties. For example, you might find blogging a less than pleasant pastime if you produce copy all week for work. You want to feel refreshed, not as if you added more chores to your plate.
However, you might love all things automotive, even if you work as a mechanic. A pastime like building diecast cars could spill over into improved workplace performance. A study out of San Francisco University found that participating in creative hobbies equated to better outcomes on the clock. These pastimes tap into a different part of your brain that’s unconstrained by societal concerns like performance review numbers.
Hiking benefits your health by doing more than getting your heart pumping. Cardiovascular activity strengthens your ticker and inhaling the goodness from trees could boost immunity. Research on forest bathers in Japan shows a higher number and activity in vital killer cells that destroy germs after spending time in the woods.
Best of all, you can modify this hobby for any fitness level. Some state parks feature accessible trails paved for wheelchairs, while many rougher locations let you climb and boulder as you challenge yourself.
Golf doesn’t have to break the bank. While greens fees as some courses soar during the pleasant months, you can pick up a bucket of balls and hit the range for less than $10. You can then hone your putts on the practice green for free.
You’ll enjoy this hobby more once you get the knack. It’s worthwhile investing in lessons to get the most bang for your buck when you do cough up the cash for a full day on the links.
Fishing might represent the ultimate relaxing hobby. You can lower your stress levels by simply floating on the lake on your boat regardless of bringing home dinner.
Of course, you can get quite adventurous with this hobby, especially if you live near the ocean. A deep-sea fishing excursion can provide you with thrills and relaxation if you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
Here’s a meditative hobby that could net you extra cash doing what you love. You might decide to hang out your shingle and spend your Saturdays earning side money shooting weddings and bar mitzvahs.
Of course, you don’t have to get that formal and turn photography into a second job if doing so will make you lose your passion for what you do. Sites like iStock and SmugMug will pay you for your artistry without tying yourself down to another to-do list.
Did you survive the pandemic without starting a garden? If so, you could be missing out on one of the most meditative hobbies out there.
You don’t need to have a backyard to get started. A sunny windowsill is sufficient for growing herbs that you can easily snip and toss into the soup pot for flavor.
Yoga is the ultimate meditative hobby. You focus on nothing but your breath and body movements, letting the outside world fall away while increasing your strength and flexibility.
There’s a style for everyone. Kundalini engages those who prefer meditative chants and heavy breathwork. Ashtanga and Bikram delight athletic sorts, while yin and restorative classes focus on deep relaxation of your muscles and connective tissues.
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