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Therapeutic hobbies that improve mental ...

Therapeutic hobbies that improve mental health

Dec 26, 2022

8 creative activities that you can master today

"Embroidery is too complicated, knitting is boring, and I can't draw". What if we told you that there are at least ten interesting activities that do not require extraordinary skills and training? Their trick is that a person can immediately get to the heart of the matter and enjoy the process. Sugar made a selection of therapeutic hobbies that are easy to get involved in and get rid of anxiety.

What are the benefits of therapeutic hobbies?

Jaime Kurtz, a doctor of philosophy and psychologist at James Madison University, says that hobbies are the best way to structure time, get rid of the internal attitude "I have no time for anything but work" and cope with stress.

Ann Futterman Collier, a psychologist from Northern Arizona University, assures that creative hobby, like nothing else, develop mindfulness and full awareness of the moment. And activities that involve monotonous repetition of actions help to reduce anxiety and have a therapeutic effect.

She also emphasizes the importance of "small victories". Instead of expecting the highest skill in creativity from yourself, she advises you to do more understandable step-by-step tasks that will bring a sense of control over the situation and mental respite.

Alternative drawing: paintings by numbers

Not only calms but also improves mental abilities. A study published in The Quarterly Journal showed that drawing strengthens memory by activating visual, semantic, and motor abilities.

Painting a canvas with a photo divided into many small numbered shapes is a system that originated in the middle of the 20th century. For some, it may seem "too childish" entertainment, but psychologists call this process a kind of art therapy that stimulates creative thinking and calms the nervous system.

Today such paintings are sold in complete sets: with brushes of different sizes, pots, paints, and printed outlines.

Фото: Paintbynumber

Photo: Paintbynumber



Wooden mechanical models

A puzzle game consisting of many fragments of a picture of different shapes develops logical thinking, attention, and memory. Today there are many varieties of puzzles: small ones with 20 pieces and large ones with 32,000, made of handmade wood and soft material.

One of the most common are puzzles that have a classic rectangular shape. However, today there are lots of variants of shapes: oval, triangular, and round, puzzles with the texture of cork or wood, and also those that glow after dark.

Psychologists note that in addition to the development of thinking and attention, the process of collecting puzzles makes us strain our brains and turn on the maximum concentration, which abstracts from external stimuli and calms us down. Moreover, as soon as we finish working on the puzzle and see the final result - a certain holistic picture - there is a feeling of achievement of the goal, and the body releases dopamine - the hormone of happiness. And this, in turn, balances the emotional state and has a positive effect on self-esteem.

In addition to traditional cardboard puzzles, there are more complex and interesting ones - wooden puzzles-constructors "WoodTrick". The first production was launched in 2015 - then the range included only a mechanical box and a tractor. And today at "WoodTrick" there are more than 100 wooden puzzles that you collect and then play. Among them are a steampunk clock, a monowheel, a research vessel, a cash register, and many others.

Galaxy Marble Run

Another type of wooden mechanical model is real puzzles, each piece of which is a separate creature or object that can captivate even before you start assembling the picture. Puzzles, by the way, are also produced by the Ukrainian company WoodTrick.

Painting of ceramics and textiles

Another type of artistic self-realization is painting, in particular ceramics. The NY Times has repeatedly raised the topic of the positive impact of such a hobby, saying that it greatly develops concentration and attentiveness. It also gives a sense of accomplishment, which has a positive effect on self-esteem and mental health in general.

Фото: Textile Space

Photo: Textile Space

Фото: Країна казок

Photo: Fairyland

Anti-stress coloring

Smooth lines, repetitive movements, and color combinations allow our brain to relax and plunge into a kind of meditative state. The fact is that during monotonous coloring, emotionality is dulled, and this allows us to immerse ourselves in the process, ignoring external triggers fully.

One of the first to use a similar technique of coloring was Carl-Gustav Jung, who drew in his diary every day for several years, seeing it as a way to calm and relax.

Фото: Chicago Tribune

Photo: Chicago Tribune

Drawing with Fluid art technique

Fluid art is a relatively new type of abstract painting, where paint flows on the canvas and chaotically creates color effects. This type of painting is also often recommended for those who are looking for a way to calm down after a stressful period or to get rid of disturbing thoughts.

Fluid art does not require any skills and training: drawing techniques are learned mostly intuitively, and the result depends only on the power of imagination and inspiration. Here you can experiment with colors and their combinations, as well as with their shapes and subjects.

Фото: Artschool

Photo: Artschool

Diamond painting

Painting with crystals is one of the types of needlework that somewhat resembles a mosaic. The essence is simple: you need special tweezers and a set of sequins with a canvas divided into small fragments with numbers like "paintings by numbers". Everything you need is sold immediately in sets.

Фото: Depositphotos

Photo: Depositphotos


Origami is the art of folding paper into shapes by using various geometric patterns, bends, and folds. It develops imagination and a sense of color and also improves concentration and awareness of space.

There are many varieties of origami. The most popular are traditional, using only one piece of paper, and modular - creating a complex figure from a large number of pieces of paper or cardboard.

Фото: siniykit.kiev

Photo: Minikit


Quilling is the creation of compositions from strips of paper twisted in a spiral - another type of paperwork that improves coordination, relaxes, develops attention, and reduces anxiety. In special sets for quilling, you can find everything you need - ready-cut strips of paper of different colors, glue, and tweezers. And you can become a "master of the craft" after watching a few video tutorials.

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