Mental health awareness has increased in recent decades. Mental health campaigns tackle misconceptions about mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and help people identify the symptoms so they can pursue treatment.
About a decade ago, there was a surge in the rates of teenagers in the U.S. struggling with depression, and anxiety disorders are even more common among teens. For many, mental health challenges extend into adulthood. Fortunately, both teens and adults can use effective strategies to address anxiety and depression, including hobbies. Let’s look at some hobbies you can use to tackle anxiety and depression.
1. Doing puzzles can reduce depression and anxiety.
Completing puzzles strengthens your cognitive abilities and improves your mental outlook. Puzzlers who assemble puzzles with a partner can reduce or prevent depression and alleviate anxiety. Connecting pieces also provides a mental reward and helps people lower their stress levels.
There are multiple types of puzzles you can enjoy, including jigsaw and crossword puzzles. Putting together a jigsaw puzzle involves connecting puzzle pieces to form an image. You can even upload your favorite photos or design jigsaw puzzles and choose the number of puzzle pieces it has to determine its difficulty level. Puzzle shapes include hearts, circles, and rectangles, and personalized jigsaw puzzle games are a great way to stimulate your brain and keep you entertained for hours.
People also benefit from completing crossword puzzles, sudoku, and word searches because they’re engaged in analog activities. Taking a break from technological devices alleviates stress and provides mental calm. In turn, this helps individuals manage mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
2. Art is an excellent outlet for people coping with mental health challenges.
Attending a teen depression treatment rehab program is an effective way to receive cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) with the guidance of a licensed mental health professional. Licensed psychiatrists, nurses, pediatricians, family therapists, and clinical directors collaborate to ensure patients receive mental health care tailored to their individual needs. Family therapy may be crucial for teens relying on family support. Others may need post-induction therapy (PIT) to help them address trauma contributing to their symptoms.
Psychiatrists and therapists use art therapy to help patients cope with mental health challenges, including anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. Art therapy includes painting, drawing, creative writing, music, and drama. If you enjoy playing music, you may find playing the guitar or piano is soothing. Alternatively, people who enjoy drawing or painting can benefit from these hobbies because they provide a break from normal pressures and help them process their feelings. Whether your hobbies include writing or acting, artistic hobbies offer an excellent outlet for managing anxiety and depression.
3. You can use physical activity to manage your mental health symptoms.
Many people enjoy active hobbies, and any physical activity can be an excellent option for people looking for hobbies that help them manage their mental health. Physical activity prompts your body to release endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that work like analgesics by reducing pain. The physical health benefits include alleviating headaches and inflammation, while the endorphins promote positive feelings in your body, improving your outlook on life.
The physical effects of exercise combat stress, reduce anxiety, and alleviate depression, which is why mental health professionals offer experiential and recreational therapy options, such as yoga, surfing, swimming, hiking, and gardening. Yoga involves physical exercise, breathing techniques that can reduce stress, and meditation, improving your state of mind. Learning to surf or going swimming is an excellent option because being near water also improves your mood. Gardening promotes feelings of contentment, which can help reduce your stress levels and promote positive thoughts.
Multiple hobbies can help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Mental hobbies, such as puzzles, artistic hobbies, such as painting, and physical hobbies like surfing, can all help you manage your mental health.