The #1 Hobby You Should Adopt If You Suffer From Anxiety, According To Therapists

You don’t have to look far these days to meet somebody who suffers from anxiety. The ever-increasing pace of life, along with added factors like poor diet, long working hours and lack of exercise can all contribute to anxiety in a big way.

According to research, around 18 percent of adults suffer from anxiety, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the Western world today. In America alone an estimated 40 million people suffer from anxiety and unsurprisingly, a lot of people never receive treatment for their illness.

While there is no replacement for professional help, experts have a long list of things you can do at home that may help to ease your anxiety and some of these are worth paying attention to. According to therapists who specialise in anxiety treatment, taking up a creative hobby like painting or writing may be the key to helping to ease your anxiety.

Studies have shown that enjoying a creative hobby can help to reduce the levels of stress hormones in your body as they provide an escape from your everyday situation. A creative hobby isn’t necessarily about producing creative works that are impressive, but instead act as a way to release pent-up emotions. For this reason art therapy has been used for many years to treat sufferers of trauma and mental illness. From writing poetry, to scribbling in a journal, to drawing and painting, creative hobbies are all fantastic ways to release emotions.

Need some extra help to calm your anxiety? While it may be hard, staying away from coffee and other drinks that contain caffeine will also help to ensure that your body stays as calm as possible. “Caffeine activates your ‘fight or flight’ mode. Therefore, when you drink a cup of coffee, you’re literally evoking a sustained state of fear,” says Auckland-based health expert, naturopath and medical herbalist, Lisa Fitzgibbon. So while you may feel that coffee is a necessity for you, it could actually be making you feel even worse.

So put down that cup of coffee and pick up that paint brush. It could help you far more than you would ever expect.

Read next: Is Kombuchs Actually Good For Me?

You’ll also like: