Top 5: Hobbies for Positive Mental Health

by
Chris Viola

Positive mental health is a hot topic these days. Young professionals everywhere are challenged with balancing many things at once – leading to high levels of stress and anxiety.

Here are some simple ways to ease the brain chatter and positively boost your mental health:

1. Read

Everybody is familiar with how reading improves things such as your memory, language, and keeps your brain active. Reading is also greatly linked to a reduction in stress and is actually proven to increase empathy. Reading both fiction and non-fiction has these benefits, so even if you’re not looking to research anything, grabbing a novel from your favourite author will also do the trick.

2. Art

Everyone knows that the ‘basic arts’ (theatre, music and visual art) all have great mental benefits, such as boosting creativity, and problem solving skills. While each of these fields work great in acquiring these benefits, don’t limit yourself to just them. If none of these activities float your boat, there’s plenty of others around. Want to film your own movie? Write a book or short story? Program a website or a video game? That’s art.

3. Exercise

In addition to the almost endless benefits to your physical health, exercise can always assist in helping you mentally. It can improve your ability to sleep, improve your self-esteem, and is probably the best way to get rid of your ‘immediate’ negative emotions. You don’t even have to join a gym – simply going for a walk or run, or doing push ups or sit-ups can help. A bonus is that these can be done with a friend for the added social benefits.

4. Meditation

Meditation can increase the amount of grey matter in your brain and ultimately lower stress levels. As with exercise, there are also physical benefits such as lowered blood pressure. 10 minutes a day is all that’s needed to clear the brain chatter.

5. A passion

You may be thinking, trying to work in any of the above in to your already busy life sounds like a challenge – and hey, maybe you’ve tried one or all of them and none are working for you. The number one way to reduce your stress levels is to address them. Then, think about something you are passionate about – whatever that may be – and let that be your release. Having a passion for something that you actively work at is a great way to shoo your stress away.

About the Author

Chris is a graduate of Mohawk College's Public Relations and TV broadcasting programs. He currently works as a graphic designer at the UPS store