If You Have Anxiety, These 20 Hobbies Can Help

If You Have Anxiety, These 20 Hobbies Can Help

“Origami. You can literally learn how to make a basic crane in under five minutes on YouTube, and it’s a really good relaxing hobby for anyone who wants something somewhat mindless to do.” — hotel_girl985

“Embroidery! It’s cheap as fuck and really, really easy. It helps with anxiety because (a) you’re MAKING ART, so you feel really productive, (b) the motions can be repetitive if that’s what you need, but can also be really complicated, so you get to pick, (c) it’s something to do with your hands while you’re in class, watching a movie, or hanging out with friends – great for fidgeters, (d) the thing you create is really cool to touch if you like texture stimuli – bumpy, smooth, scratchy, you name the texture you can embroider the texture, and (e) if you want you even get to wear the things you create, which can be a huge confidence boost – you know that boring jean jacket you have? Not so boring anymore!!! You can get supplies from any craft store for like under $5, or even order them online. You don’t even have to make your own patterns, you can print them and trace them on. The YouTube tutorials are pretty good, but my favorite ones are the step-by-step diagrams you can find with a simple Google search of ‘how to do ___ embroidery stitch.’ Even shitty beginner embroidery looks cool and you can impress everybody. I’ve got GAD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, major depression, PTSD, and seasonal affective – not everybody’s coping mechanisms are perfect for everyone, but I can definitely vouch for embroidery in my circumstances.” — voidmountain

“Playing a musical instrument. There are lots of instructional videos online, and playing music has some therapeutic effects.” — ACrazyTopT

“Knitting or crocheting. Inexpensive to start, can be taken most places, can be relaxing or distracting.” — allthedifference

“Gardening.  My husband and I have had a little container garden on our porch for a few years, but last winter I started from seed for the first time. It got me through a really terrible winter. My favorite thing I grew were the moonflowers. July-Sept we had beautiful, massive white blossoms at least once a week. It just keeps you going.” — kazimira

“Coloring. No seriously. It’s so relaxing.” — Lyd_Euh

“Writing. Poetry, fiction, non-fiction, anything. It helps so much to put what you feel on paper.” — lilant702

“As a speed addict: cycling. You hate it at first but once you get a flat straight smoothly paved path in front of you, get your rhythm and breathing right (which comes naturally) it is pure bliss. Also, your legs man. They grow in no time.” — pm-me-your-games

“I don’t know if this counts, but skating. I recently learnt how to skate for the first time (I am 21). I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and I thought picking up a sport would help me. The fact that I went from unable to stand on ice to being able to move around in eight lessons showed me I can accomplish things, even if it took time. Also, every time I fell on ice I just stood up and I gave myself a pat on the back. Then I proceed to tell myself ‘if you can pick yourself up here, you can do that in life too.’” — AlsoCanadian

“Build lego. when you get locked in the anxiety cycle and can’t thing about anything else it lets you focus, I always have some sets around to build.” — [deleted]

“Baking! I find baking and pastry arts very meditative!” — Gimpinald

“Walking outside. Seriously, go for a 30 minute walk 2-3 times per week.” — brickwall5

“Drawing, or anything that requires attentive focus, has been proven to develop the frontal lobes and exercises the same area of the brain that meditation uses. I am an artist, mason, and a musician and when I get to that meditative state of ‘flow’ that I hear so many others mention, time flies by and I feel no worries at all.” — rockerroller

“Jiu jitsu. When you’re training it’s almost impossible to think about anything other than what you’re doing. And it’s fucking fun.” — mcbago18

“I LOVE rock climbing. My dad started taking me with him when I was a sophomore in college. I was living alone, heavily depressed, anxious, and suicidal. He thought it would help me, and it did. I loved having that constant exercise and socialization every week, and when I’d get up on the wall, my mind would just turn off and I’d only be focused on making it to the top. I definitely recommend. It was incredible for me all around.” — ChanandlerBongUrie

“Yoga! It’s helped immensely with my anxiety. Anytime I start feel anxious I find a quiet place and meditate.” — RavNavi

“Swimming, especially with a waterproof music player. There is something absolutely zen-like about just losing yourself to the water, add some really relaxing music and you have a recipe for enlightenment. Obviously you want to proficient enough to not drown or else it will probably be pretty anxiety inducing.” — The-real-masterchief

“Jigsaw puzzles. I’m not into crafty stuff personally, but puzzles occupied just enough of my brain to be calming.” — DrDaruwalla

“Archery. It helps focus your anxiety. Feeling the draw weight in your arms and back. Looking through the sight. Breathing to calm your shaking muscles.” — RoseyShortCake

“Cat petting. Inquire at your local animal shelter.” — Ofecks