5 Hobbies and Activities That Tame Chronic Anxiety

  

If you have ever suffered from anxiety, you know it can be difficult to manage. Sometimes a panic attack will strike out of nowhere. And there are times when you do not know why you feel anxious, which adds to the your already increased stress levels. Here are some hobbies that might help you cope with anxiety on a day to day basis.

1. Exercise

While exercising might seem counter intuitive to relaxing, it will ease tension and anxiety in the long run. When you work out, your body releases endorphins which help you feel happy. This helps you feel better, giving you the fuel you need to fight back against anxiety. Even if you only have time for a brief walk or short workout, it is worth it. A small amount of exercise has been proven to provide relief from anxiety for hours.

2. Meditation

Meditation is growing in popularity. You may have seen or heard someone talking about mindfulness and being present. When you meditate, you calm and focus your mind. Feeling in control of your thoughts can better help manage panic attacks and break the cycle of anxiety. If you are not sure how to get started, you can download apps to your phone that will guide you through simple meditation exercises.

More: 6 Ways to Develop Flexibility When You Hate Yoga

3. Journaling

Being able to express your frustrations, fears, and setbacks helps relieve tension in your mind. A journal can be a safe place for you to share how you truly feel. This can be a creative outlet as well. You might find that you enjoy writing or drawing as you express your feelings. Remember, you do not need to be a talented writer to journal. It can include anything you want and no one has to read your writing (unless you want them to).

4. Playing or listening to music

Playing a musical instrument can be very therapeutic. Your mind is forced to focus on the notes and melody, taking attention away from panic. This may be a great time to take lessons or dust off that old guitar. If have no musical ear, do not worry. Listening to music can be extremely soothing as well. Just be sure your musical choices are not adding to any stress or panic you may be feeling.

5. Gardening

You may have never considered a garden before, but there are great reasons to try out your green thumb as a tool to fight anxiety. Gardening requires work and care. You can spend hours working on your plants, giving your mind something to focus on. Then you get to see the (sometimes literal) fruit of your hard labor. You will get the satisfaction of growing your own food or plants while also soothing your mind as you tend it.

More: It Is Okay to Not Be Full of Passion

Breaking the cycle of anxiety can be difficult to do in the moment. These hobbies can give you the tools you need to make the right mental choices. When you feel anxiety creeping in on you, grab your journal, tennis shoes, or gardening gloves and focus on the hobbies you love to help you feel calm and happy again.

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