16 Best Stress Relieving Hobbies Guaranteed To Make You Relaxed

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Let’s be honest for a second—Life is stressful.

And while there are all kinds of general stress management techniques out there, the best way to relieve stress is to make lifestyle changes. What better way to change your lifestyle than to take up a few new hobbies?

When you’re out of the office or away from the kids, you need to find ways to relieve stress and clear your mind.

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Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve put together a list of 16 stress relieving hobbies guaranteed to reduce your stress levels. Whether you’re a nature lover, athlete or homebody, there’s something on this list for everybody.

1. Running

There are tons of people who love running or jogging first thing in the morning. There is definitely a good reason for this.

First and foremost, running is very good for your health. It can help offset the risks associated with sitting around too much during the day. At the same time, running is going to force you to take your mind off of your stressors.

After a tough run or jog, you’re going to be too drained to focus on your stress. In return, this will make you feel so much better. Not to mention, you release endorphins, which can result in runner’s high.

2. Basketball

If you’re a fan of sports, you’ll definitely want to take up basketball.

This is one of the most intense sports, but it is really suitable for everyone. In fact, you don’t need to play a full-fledged basketball game to get the most out of the experience.

You can shoot a few hoops or just play horse with a friend. This is one of the best ways to eliminate your stress levels. Basketball will give you something good to focus on and that will take your mind off of your stress. At the same time, basketball is going to be good for your physical health as well.

3. Painting

Do you consider yourself to be a creative person? Or maybe you just want to explore that part of yourself that you’ve been ignoring for so long. If so, you’ll definitely want to think about taking up the hobby of painting.

Painting is a great stress relieving hobby because it gives you an outlet to express yourself, and you get that sense of accomplishment whenever you finish a new piece.

Also, when you’re painting on the canvas, your mind is going to be occupied and you won’t be able to focus on your stressors. It’s so easy to get lost with each stroke of the paintbrush. Some artists become completely entrenched in their artwork to the point where it becomes almost meditative.

Don’t worry about whether or not your painting is “good”. That’s subjective. Get lost in the actual act of painting and you’ll notice your stress levels dropping in no time.

4. Hiking

There are plenty of people who love being out in Mother Nature. If you fit into this category, you should most definitely think about hiking.

Hiking is going to be great for you for many reasons.

For one, hiking can be pretty strenuous. This means that it is going to take your attention away from your stresses. Instead, you’re going to be huffing and puffing as you hike up the mountainside.

At the same time, hiking is going to put you in the heart of Mother Nature. You’ll be able to listen to birds chirping and you’ll be mesmerized by the beautiful surrounded. This combination can be very beneficial for lowering your stress levels.

5. Yoga

Are you the type of individual who absolutely loves yoga? Yoga is very relaxing. Plus, it can be very beneficial for your health.

In addition to making you a little more flexible, yoga is going to relax your mind.

One of the core philosophies of yoga is that you’re focusing on your body. With each stretch, you have to be aware of what you’re feeling, how you’re positioned and make the connection between your mind and body.

It’s hard to focus on that stressful presentation you have coming up when you’re trying to get into a camel pose!

Plus, once you’ve finished the session, you will feel refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

6. Gardening

If you’re a fan of Mother Nature, you’ll be happy to know that gardening is an outstanding stress-relieving hobby. Gardening is great because it is going to get you outside and away from your stressors.

Plus, you’re going to be doing something productive with your time. You’ll be planting plants, which will go on to grow large and beautiful. This can give you a more positive outlook on life. Gardening is relaxing and it will definitely help reduce your stress levels.

7. Cooking

You may also want to think about taking up cooking. A lot of people don’t like cooking, because they’re either not very good at it or look at it as a chore.

But cooking is a hobby that can be very helpful for reducing your stress levels. When cooking, you’re going to be solely focused on the task ahead. Plus, you’re going to be taking multiple ingredients and turning them into something gorgeous and tasty. This can give you confidence since you’ll know that you’re doing something other people cannot.

Plus, you’re going to be able to share a delicious meal with your friends and family members. Just make sure you’re cooking up food that fights stress instead of worsening it.

8. Swimming

Swimming is another great stress relieving hobby that is going to get you outside. You don’t need to swim like a madman or woman. Instead, you should keep it calm and relaxing.

Just float around and have a good time. Let the cool water caress your body.

Of course, you can always step it up and swim at a more intense pace. This is a good option for people who want to exercise and reduce their stress levels simultaneously.

stress relieving hobbies - scrapbooking

9. Scrapbooking

Tons of people like scrapbooking, as made evident by Pinterest. And there are plenty of reasons for the resurgence in this hobby.

First and foremost, scrapbooking gives you the opportunity to reflect on the good times in your life. You can add pictures of your newborn children, wedding and other fun events. After that, you’ll be able to flip through the book and put a big smile on your face.

10. Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are definitely a good hobby for people who are interested in relieving their stress. After all, these puzzles are going to be tough and they’ll keep you guessing for many hours on end. By the time you get through the puzzle, you’ll have completely forgotten about your stress.

Just make sure that your crossword puzzles are actually solvable. Otherwise, they’re going to be too tough and they might make your stress even worse. We love this book of crossword puzzles because it’s easy on the eyes and if things get too tough, you can always look at the answer key.

11. Volunteering Your Time

If you want to get the most out of your time and eliminate your stress, you should definitely try volunteering.

Volunteering is one of the best ways to give back to others and show gratitude. At the same time, you’re going to feel great about the deed that you’ve done.

This can help improve your outlook on life. Plus, it’ll boost your self-esteem.

After a volunteering session, you’re going to feel relieved and so much better about your life. With that being said, you should not hesitate to get out there and start helping others today.

12. Watching Television

There is no doubt that sitting on the couch for too long is very bad for you. Nevertheless, it can have some benefits.

Just think about it.

One of the most common reasons people can’t relax is because they’re constantly thinking of everything they have to do, and never take a break to just let their brain rest.

When you’re sitting in front of the tube, you’re not going to have the time to worry about your work, bills or anything else. Plus, you can watch comedies to have a good laugh.

This can help you reduce your stress very quickly. Just make sure that you do not sit on the couch watching television for too long.

13. Gaming

You’re also going to want to consider taking up video gaming. Video gaming is good, as long as you do not sit around too long. Video games can transport you to a fantasy land and they’ll allow you to escape reality for a brief period of time.

They’re definitely a good stress reliever. Need more proof? Check out our article on the relationship between video games and stress.

Believe it or not, gaming is actually a great stress management technique for moms. So often, it’s looked at as a “guy thing” but there’s a growing community of female gamers, including moms of all ages!

14. Camping

Many people go camping just to think about things and clear their mind. Well, did you know that camping is also a great stress reliever?

Camping is a great stress relieving hobby because it involves staying in the outdoors with little human interaction.

Nature is the perfect environment for reducing stress. So, the next time you feel stressed out, just schedule a weekend of camping at your local state park, where you can camp for absolutely free.

15. Reading

Reading offers many cognitive and academic benefits, including decreased anxiety, mental stimulation, improved memory and focus, improved writing skills and stronger analytical thinking skills.

When you feel stressed out just grab a book and start reading. Always keep a book on hand, so you will have access to it. Reading during breaks and downtime will help improve your mental health significantly.

If you’re looking for a unique gift to surprise your stressed out boyfriend or girlfriend, a book is an often overlooked option!

16. Singing

Many people utilize their voice to reduce their stress. Even if you are just singing to a song on the radio, it can prove beneficial to your social, emotional and physical wellbeing. Singing has proven to help reduce anxiety, improve mood and quality of life, induce feelings of pleasure, enhance bonding and trust and encourage togetherness.

Singing releases peptide hormones known as endorphins, which are produced by the pituitary gland and central nervous system, leading to improved mood. Sing your heart out! Once you’ve finished your song, you’re going to feel spectacular once again!

What’s Your Top Stress Relieving Hobby?

Now that you have a huge list of stress relieving hobbies to try out, which will you tackle first?

No matter what your budget or interests are, there’s a hobby out there for you. Hopefully, our suggestions are just the motivation you needed to get started and reduce your stress levels.

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Additional Resources

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About the author

I'm an avid reader and love anything to do with mindfulness and mental health!

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