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Taking up a hobby is an excellent way to calm, and maybe even rid your mind of any stress caused by a busy lifestyle.

Meditation and yoga are usually the first activities that come to mind as far as relaxation and calming goes. Sure, those work great and are highly recommended, but there are quite a few things you can indulge in that are extremely healthy and effective.

Knitting:
Like meditation, knitting requires complete focus and concentration. Being in that “present” moment, it offers us the chance to reconnect with ourselves – and going in to the activity with the intention of mental training and direction, knitting can have fantastic emotional and spiritual strengths.

Gardening:
Besides the fact that eating the organic fruits and veggies you’ve grown in your own garden having nutritious benefits, scientific research shows that sowing some seeds, can massively impact the mind, body and emotional health.
The sights, smells and sounds that come from your garden, reduces stress and promotes relaxation. Being exposed to some sunlight also increases serotonin in the brain, which is responsible for brain balance.

Reading:
Whether it’s fictional or not, regular readers have felt the amazing effects of burying their face in a book, even if it’s to escape reality for just an hour or two.
The benefits of reading come in abundance. Give it a shot if you want to improve your sleep, reduce stress levels and just feel good about yourself.

Hiking and Nature:
Other than it being free, hiking allows you to get an amazing mental and physical workout without an instructor yelling at you to “ lift faster” or “and squat lower”, because unlike a gym routine set out by a trainer, hiking lets you go at a pace you’re comfy with.
Hiking gives you this calming feeling, that comes with being out in nature. It’s the perfect space to meditate as well as fitting in a few strengthening exercises.

Colouring:
Colouring is like meditating, however, getting into the correct state of mind in order to start, can be a bit tricky – especially if you’re just starting out. It takes some practice. Adult colouring books are a nice alternative. Unlike the act of meditation, you’re actually “doing something” when you’ve got that pencil crayon in your hand. So pair that up with a relaxing music genre of your choice, and you’ve got a winner!

Writing:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernst Hemmingway
Whether it’s expressive writing about deep emotional and physical trauma, or just a journal you keep to jot down something interesting that happened, DO IT! Putting pen to paper has had several therapeutic benefits for a very long time. Like reading, if you’re giving your own novel or short story a shot, it’s a great way to heal and escape reality for a few hours. If it’s a journal you keep, writing is a good way to rid your mind of “noise” that’s been accumulating.

Music:
Depending on which genre is your favourite, many people will agree that music plays a massive role in their daily lives. We rely on music to get us through all sorts of things, focus while working, studying, reading, the gym, the list goes on… but music has healing effects beyond imagination. Music therapy was first referenced in 1789, and was was even used after World War 2, when musicians were hired to use their talents to perform in hospitals for victims and patients affected.
Because of how easily music is linked to moods, it’s easy to understand why music therapy has become a thing.

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