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Stress in America – Stress Tip #3 – Try Something New

November 12, 2010

I recently wrote a post about the importance of hobbies in lowering stress.  Hobbies are awesome – they are just for fun, not related to work, and give us pleasure.  But if your old hobbies just aren’t doing the trick in lowering your stress levels, what can you do? Try something new!

Rock climbing, knitting, speed walking, baking, crossword puzzles – it can be just about anything – as long as it’s new to you.  The benefits of learning new skills can be many, including:

  • Distracting you from the stressors in your life.  I recently took up sewing and it takes so much concentration and mental effort that I don’t have the brain power to think about anything else.  It’s the perfect antidote to a tough day.
  • Keeping your brain healthy.  Want to keep your mind sharp and your memory intact?  Researchers and clinicians recommend staying mentally fit, and what better way to do that than learn something new?
  • Expanding your world.  I have a friend who recently started cross country skiing.  She has been amazed at the new experiences that have opened up to her since she started hitting the trails.  She has met new and different kinds of people, has subscribed to new magazines and blogs, and is now planning vacations around her new passion.   What could be better than that?
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