If you’re anything like me, you're a shy, highly sensitive introvert prone to overthinking.
Naturally, this made high school, university, and my early-to-mid 20s pretty brutal – that period of figuring out what you value, who you are, building self-esteem and character, and self-discovery.
Doing all that soul-searching is hard, to say the least, when you feel anxious and overthink all the time.
So, how did I learn to manage my anxiety and overthinking?
Without further ado, let’s dive into why you need to have a creative hobby if you’re struggling with anxiety.
Creative hobbies keep your hands and mind busy
I was the biggest overthinker.
Up until my mid-20s, I dwelled on past events. Second-guessed decisions. Replayed mistakes in my mind. Rehashed conversations. Focused on things I couldn’t control, change, or improve. Imagined the worst-case outcomes. And the list goes on.
Then, after a breakup, I started to write, learn to play the piano, and cook new recipes. What happened?
I stopped overthinking (as much). Why?
Because these activities kept my mind and hands busy. They required concentration and engagement.
So, what I’ve learned is that creative hobbies distract you from anxious and intrusive thoughts.
Creative hobbies are free therapy
I write online (duh).
At first, I wrote because I wanted to find something to do after my ex and I broke up.
Little did I know how therapeutic this simple creative hobby would be.
Since writing online, I’ve learned to express myself – my thoughts, worries, mistakes, experiences, and insights. And now?
I no longer have all these anxious thoughts occupying my mind. My mind feels clearer.
So what I’ve learned is that creative hobbies are free therapy.
They reduce your feelings of anxiety and help you express and manage your emotions in a positive and productive way.
Creative hobbies help you feel good
Every time I write and publish something online, I feel a sense of accomplishment.
Because progress equals happiness.
Mastering creative hobbies (in this case, writing) feels good. It boosts your self-esteem, which helps to lower your anxiety.
Creative hobbies help you feel content
When I sing and play the piano, I get lost in a flow state.
I focus on hitting the right keys, singing the right note, and enjoying every moment. And before I know it, an hour flies by.
See, that’s the thing with creative hobbies.
They induce a flow state. You become so absorbed in the activity that you lose track of time. You’re in the present moment. And you stop overthinking.
In a flow state, you just feel content.
Creative hobbies immerse you in this state
I’m a bad cook.
But I still like to cook. Why?
Because it helps me practice mindfulness.
When I’m cooking, I feel the texture of the food. I smell the different aromas. I hear the washing, chopping, and cutting. I activate my taste buds.
Simply put, it grounds me in the here and now. As a result?
I stop overthinking.
It’s as Lao Tzu said:
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
And creative hobbies do that: They immerse you in the present moment. And that’s when you’re in a state of peace.
Here are 5 reasons why you need a creative hobby if you’re struggling with anxiety:
Creative hobbies distract you from anxious and intrusive thoughts.
Creative hobbies help you express and manage your emotions.
Creative hobbies boost your self-esteem.
Creative hobbies induce a flow state.
Creative hobbies immerse you in the present moment.
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