Three Hobbies to Calm Anxiety that Work for Me
Monday, January 8 2018 Cheryl Slavin
Hobbies can calm anxiety, and I use them as self-help in my daily mental health struggles. A friend recently asked me what alleviates my anxiety. I quickly quipped that I’m always anxious, and then I realized that isn’t exactly true. My passions—music, reading, and writing—may never make me rich. But these hobbies allow me to calm my anxiety and are valuable mental health self-help tools.
Examples of Hobbies that Calm Anxiety
Music Helps Me Fight Anxiety
Music has been my companion since I started mimicking my favorite singers in the second grade. I get so immersed in music that I can momentarily forget the anxiety of the day and specifically, those worries caused by my anxiety disorders.
I focus on the art when I’m practicing, especially when playing the piano or singing. I find that practicing takes a lot of dedication. Whether it’s figuring out the theme to Harry Potter on the piano or belting out the soundtrack to Hamilton at the top of my lungs, music enthralls me. And sometimes those troubling worry thoughts will abate while my brain is otherwise engaged. My performance anxiety may stop me from singing in public, but singing in the car is a great hobby that calms my anxiety.
Reading Is a Valuable Self-Help Tool
Reading books is another hobby that I use to cope with my anxiety, and it has been invaluable as a self-help tool (Reading Helps You Cope with Anxiety). I have about 30 books I have collected, and I know I would be less anxious if I devoted time to reading every day. As a girl, I used to walk home from school while reading. Dangerous, perhaps, but at the same time, the act of reading made my anxiety an echo rather than a scream in my mind.
Reading took me away to so many places, but mainly, it helped to curb my anxieties. After I was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), I read many books on anxiety and mental illness. These books ultimately helped me to achieve a greater understanding of my own anxieties. I find that reading is essential not only for education, but for the spirit, and I need to learn to make time for it.
Writing as a Means of Self-Help
Writing as a hobby can calm anxiety and also help you to express yourself. The simple act of journaling, of getting your positive and negative thoughts down on paper, can be an incredible relief. I sometimes can’t articulate what I’m feeling until I write it down somewhere. Whether it’s (admittedly bad) poetry or my thoughts on the latest dating app, I know that focusing on forming my sentiments will distract me from my anxiety. Writing is not only useful in easing anxiety, but it is a great way to enhance personal understanding and development.
Hobbies that Calm Anxiety Are Self-Help Tools
Recently, I have thought a lot about how my hobbies help me calm my anxiety. If it comes to the dire situation where I have no medication, at least I could use these tools to help deter me from my worries. It gives me peace to remember that these hobbies that calm anxiety are available to me at little or no cost. At the same time, I am relieved that I have some healthy coping mechanisms available in my battle against anxiety.