Why an Outside Hobby Can Help with Anxiety, Stress, and Depression
Millions of Americans suffer from a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and addiction. For many seeking a healthier lifestyle, it helps to adopt a hobby to replace destructive behaviors. That might include prayer, anti-depression meds, and ramping up your physical activity.
Healthy pursuits instigate eustress, the kind of stress that makes us feel happy, motivated, and vital. Depending on the hobby, there is likely a chance you’ll develop a sense of community with others who share your interests. Furthermore, hobbies are good for your physical health and promote mindfulness, release stress, and provide us with goals and the motivation to achieve them.
Today, Just Pray NO offers some insight into finding the ideal outdoor hobby to lower your stress and improve your life.
Thinking “Outside” the Box
While there are no “right” hobbies for people trying to overcome mental health issues, those who love a breath of fresh air would do good to consider something that involves the great outdoors. Believe it or not, spending time in nature can be very healing throughout the recovery process. Fresh air and sunlight are good for the body and mind. Generally when we are outside we are also more active, releasing feel-good endorphins and neurotransmitters for an overall better state-of-mind.
And the benefits go beyond helping your body heal after the damage of addiction. Spending time outdoors improves cognitive function, including short-term memory, problem-solving and creativity. Even just looking at photos of nature can help people. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, participants who viewed images of nature scored higher on an attention test than those who viewed pictures of other scenes.
How to Spend More Time in the Great Outdoors
If you are unsure about what kind of outdoor hobbies may appeal to you, there’s no harm in giving anything that sounds good a trial run and just seeing what sticks. While there’s no overstating the importance of goals in one’s life, there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with just going with the flow and enjoying the journey with no discernable destination in sight. Have a standing picnic date with a loved one where you each bring a healthy, outdoor-friendly dish. Commit to taking your dog on more walks and explore different neighborhoods in your town. Do whatever you want to experience this beautiful world and establish grounding while also connecting to the wider world beyond us.
While you should consider a variety of activities that you think you may enjoy, also include some new things that challenge, excite, or even scare you. When you do things that scare you, you help reverse unwelcome neurological patterns. So for every time you make an effort to relax and spend leisure time outdoors, make it a priority to also do something new. Join a co-worker or friend who is into rock climbing on their next expedition. Go on a multi-day camping trip where you hike through a state park. Learn something new and add on amazing mental advantages to the physical and emotional benefits of spending time outdoors.
You can also extend your time outdoors to your backyard. Making your greenspace a welcoming place to relax and unwind offers the perfect chance to enjoy the outside from home. While simply adding some new lawn furniture and potted plants can be perfectly adequate changes, you could also consider larger updates like bringing in professional land grading services before starting a garden, building a deck, or extending your patio. Plus, with these types of improvements, you could easily see your home’s value increase!
Start Small — Be Kind to Yourself
While it’s important to live healthily, and it’s great that you want to turn things around, sudden sweeping changes in your lifestyle aren’t always best. That’s why it’s important to set small, reasonable goals and not be too hard on yourself. Outdoor hobbies are a great place to start because they encourage healthy coping mechanisms and get us out of our own heads for a while. While activities can be calming and leisurely, it’s also healthy to try new and scary things. A variety of outdoor pursuits both nourishes and challenges the mind and body.
Just Pray NO is taking a stance against drugs and proving that the power of prayer is still impacting lives around the world. We’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article Submitted by Dylan Wallace email@example.com
The weekend of April 6 – April 7, 2013 has been designated as the 23rd Annual “Just Pray NO!” to drugs Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting. We are not only praying for the release of those bound by substance abuse but also for people to be delivered from pornography, gambling, obesity and smoking.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
Since April 7th, 1991 “Just Pray NO!” has united millions of Christians from 150 nations and territories around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families. Not only is substance abuse America’s number one health problem, the devastation of alcoholism and other drug addiction has impacted families and communities worldwide.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Make a formal commitment to join with believers in Christ from around the globe this coming April. Put on the full armor of God and fervently pray in spirit and in truth. We are seeking to enlist millions of prayer warriors from around the world to join us in battle!
Is it your heart’s desire to see people delivered, healed and set free to serve the Lord Jesus Christ?