Depression and anxiety for some people are like fancy terms coined by the media to lure more and more healthy people to be their patients.
On the contrary for those who have spent most parts of their life battling with it know how monstrous it can be. You’ll never come to know that you are depressed until you notice the subtle signs of it.
Depression can be silent sometimes. It tiptoes into your life, making everything gloomy and volatile. Suddenly everything about you starts feeling a little less important to you and the world around you seem like a living hell.
You constantly feel deranged, fatigued and helpless. This is the time when you should seek medical help or should open about to your loved ones.
But if you have had a history of chronic depression and you’ve been in hallows for long then you need to understand that your pills yet alone can’t help you cope with depression.
How making certain life choices can help battle Depression and Anxiety:
You need to make certain lifestyle changes that might help you to deal with depression and lower its severity.
There are many good habits that one can adopt to tackle depressive symptoms like eating clean, exercising, adopting mindful techniques and developing a hobby which can excite you in many ways.
The key is to keep yourself busy and to get completely engrossed in something that gives you immense pleasure, be it an art or hobby.
If you enjoy writing then make it your hobby and instead of killing your time by entertaining irrational thoughts, devote your time to create something.
When you create something, you get attached to it and the pleasure of giving birth to an art is beyond comparison. When you are passionate about something, you do it with all your heart.
You are living in that particular moment and your focus is entirely on your craft. This helps you to align your thoughts in one direction leaving no room for other free-flowing negative thoughts to play tricks on your mind.
The question arises can hobbies improve your mental health?
In the 21st century it’s easier to pop a pill and get wrapped up in various treatments and therapies but did you know that immersing yourself in a hobby or an activity that you thoroughly enjoy can help too?
Many doctors often suggest treating anxiety and depression with a traditional combination of therapy and medication. But this alone will not help if you aren’t willing to make efforts from your side.
A study conducted in 2009 tested knitting to help patients having anxiety due to eating disorders. After running a successful experiment, it was found that “patients reported a subjective reduction in anxious preoccupation when knitting, more specifically 74 percent reported it had a calming and therapeutic effect”.
Therefore, engaging in a hobby that you enjoy can have a relaxing effect on your mind and body. This will not only help you to manage your anxiety pangs but will also lower the risk of depression and other mental disorders.
How to find your Hobby or Passion:
Some of the ace-medical professionals and researchers recommend alternative therapies along with medication as a treatment for anxiety and depression. Surprisingly, some playful activities have a positive impact on the mind which when included in daily routine can be beneficial.
Find out which hobby or activity you enjoy the most. For some its listening music, dancing, going for nature walks, cooking, knitting, keeping a journal, gaming etc.
Choose a hobby that keeps you hooked so you can devote your precious time in doing it. Many have found that doing social work like volunteering for a good cause helps them feel better about themselves.
Actively participate in such programs which will not only connect you with gentle souls but will also broaden your friend circle. And the more smiles you spread, the more happiness and contended you’ll feel at heart.
Positive Effect Hobbies can Have on your Mental Health:
It reduces stress: Having a hobby can help you in rejuvenating your mind and body. Religiously following a hobby that you enjoy can have a calming effect on your mind. It will not only keep you entertained but will also help in managing stress and anxiety levels.
Uplifts Mood: Indulging in a hobby can uplift your spirits making you feel happy and refreshed throughout the day. This will further help in lowering the risk of Depression and other mental disorders.
Encourages Socialization: Studies have found that hobbies that include socialization and group activities have a positive effect on the mind. To take advantage of it, consider participating in group hobbies like team sports, clubs or other activities that draw a crowd.
Improves Memory: Hobbies such as reading, maintaining a journal, writing, playing Sudoku and puzzles improves memory and also avoids memory loss later in life. If you enjoy challenging your mind then this can be a great mindful technique, to begin with.
Keeps Depression at Bay: Keeping yourself busy in a hobby or activity that elevates your mood helps in warding off anxiety and depression. If you feel bored after doing something and it doesn’t make you feel good then it’s not the one. Hobbies are meant to make you happy and a little less stressful. Experiment with new things like gardening, colouring, photography, swimming etc. and find out what gives you relief.
While therapies, treatments, and medications help in treating depression and anxiety, but one must always experiment with some lifestyle changes that can improve your overall mental health.
So, don’t hesitate from trying a new hobby or finding your passion. Forget about the age and do what makes you happy because this life is all you got for experimenting and exploring new dimensions.
A curious soul, I crave learning.