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Monday, February 6, 2012

De-Stress Yourself with a Hobby

Guest post is by Lori Hutchison of Masters in Teaching.

I have had my share of stress and anxiety throughout life. When I was diagnosed with social anxiety at age 15, I was given an anti-anxiety medication that was supposed to help ease the symptoms. Over the next few months, I noticed that the medication wasn’t really helping. I also noticed something else; the only time I felt at peace was when I listened to music and sang in the school choir.

I am a true believer that doing what makes you happy plays a huge factor in stress management. Even today, I use my love and interest for music to calm down during complicated times. I feel that it helps me focus and keep things in perspective, and it also clears my mind of the day’s worries.

In addition to relieving anxiety and stress, maintaining a hobby has also provided me with a sense of pride and a greater self-esteem; two things that also play a role in stress management. With my hobby, I take pride in my voice and my music knowledge, and I feel great about being a part of my church’s choir.

Some of us are lucky enough to turn our hobbies and life passions into careers. I don’t think I will ever be able to make a living from my music hobby, but so what? Singing and moving to beautiful music gives me happiness beyond words. I feel free and in control when I sing in the choir, and I feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. Stress has no choice but to leave me be when I feel so happy.

Whatever your passion in life, use it to combat stress. Even if the hobby isn’t necessarily a passion, still take part in something creative and fun every day. Remember, stress is a choice. If you are tired of feeling anxious and worried, find a daily hobby that you can look forward to. Bring fun into your life and say “goodbye” to stress.

Also, even if you aren’t musically inclined, recent research has shown that music is a great form of stress therapy. Whatever type of music you enjoy listening to, keep it handy on a CD or iPod and listen to it when you need to unwind and relax.

Happy days to all!

Lori Hutchison teaches high school English and owns the site Masters in Teaching.  In her spare time, she enjoys writing guest blog posts about various topics of interest.