How Hobbies Aid Personal Growth

Hobbies are a practical way to help you escape the stresses caused by your daily routine. Since you can’t skip work or avoid your family forever, these activities enrich your life in unique ways because it is a safe space.

You can pursue almost anything as a hobby. These activities can help you learn new skills, boost your professional development, and meet some like-minded people.

What Are the Best Hobbies to Pursue?

The best hobby to have is the one that causes you to relax, have fun, and feel like the time was productive.

Here are a few ideas to help get you started.

1. Gardening

This hobby can put food on your table, burn as many calories as jogging, and get you outside more to create some natural vitamin D. If you don’t have a backyard or space for a garden, try using containers in your apartment or condominium. Some communities have public spaces that let you plant seeds.

2. Camping

It only takes a week in nature to completely reset your circadian rhythm. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try pitching a tent at a local campground for a weekend. It’ll feel good to get out of the usual routine. Your backyard can even become a fun spot if you don’t live near a forest or beach.

3. Board Games

You don’t need to love Monopoly to appreciate this hobby. With so many unique titles out there to play, you can always find affordable secondhand options to try. New games come out each year to expand your opportunities for fun.

4. Knitting

People who knit rate their lives as happier compared to the general population. It’s a low-cost hobby that passes the time, lets you create presents, and allows you to multitask while watching TV or a movie with your family.

5. Cooking

If you’re not the world’s best cook, spending time in the kitchen could become your next fun hobby. Several courses are available for free on YouTube, and you can learn a lot of techniques by watching Food Network.

What are some of your favorite hobbies to pursue?

Ideas for Celebrating the International Day of Happiness on March 20

The International Day of Happiness is one of the best informal holidays that we can all celebrate together. This unique event started in 2013 as part of the United Nations’ recognition that shifting attitudes about ourselves and our planet required some attention.

We need to think about happiness more often. Have you ever noticed how a smile can make you feel better during a bad day?

Imagine what could happen if you could encourage everyone to experience the transformation every day!

That’s why these ideas are worth pursuing when it is time to celebrate the International Day of Happiness.

1. Attend a Happiness Event

You can find events celebrating this day all over the world. Each community offers a unique perspective to try, ranging from a day of volunteerism to a three-course meal featuring only vegan ingredients.

2. Offer a Hug

You don’t need to travel far to offer a hug to someone. When you share an embrace for at least 20 seconds, your brain releases chemicals that help you relax and feel happier. Although it might feel more comfortable to hug a family member or friend, many people out there could benefit from this embrace.

3. Set Some Goals

What do you think the world needs to become a happier place? Use this day to set some specific goals that you can work toward, including climate action, reduced inequality, or poverty elimination.

4. Give Away What You Don’t Use

It is often better to give than it is to receive. You’re probably doing some spring cleaning each March already. Why not give away the good clothes you aren’t wearing so that someone else can use them?

5. Create Something Happy

You don’t need to be a professional artist to use your creativity to produce more happiness in our world today. If you draw chalk art on the sidewalk, create a new painting, or spend the day pursuing photography opportunities, these small efforts can significantly impact a person’s happiness.

What could someone do today to boost your happiness? Once you have an answer, consider making that outcome your point of emphasis for others in your community on the International Day of Happiness.

Simple Ways to Show Gratitude Each Day

With the events of 2020, it sometimes feels like gratefulness and gratitude took a back seat to survivability for many. If you lost a job, can’t pay your bills, or visited a food bank for the first time in your life, the entire experience might not feel like a joyous moment.

A simple shift of your priorities can flip the script on how you feel. You might have lost a job, but now you are spending more time with your kids. It might be hard to pay your bills, but more people in your community are stepping up to help you make ends meet.

When you visit the food bank, it can be a humbling experience to know that enough people cared to stock this resource so that you won’t go hungry.

Here are some more ways to think about showing gratitude each day.

What Are the Best Ways to Show Gratitude?

1. Support the health of you and the people you love.

Although 2020 was a challenging year, it also helped us to re-examine our priorities. Many people are eating better, getting more exercise, and taking care of themselves. Encouraging that trend by giving the gift of Perque products or items from Health Concerns can continue that process.

2. Try to listen more and talk less.

Active listening is a unique skill that encourages you to see life from another person’s perspective. Instead of trying to jump in to say something “important,” try to ask more questions.

3. Offer detailed examples of appreciation.

We have turned appreciation from a genuine emotion into a standard small talk greeting. “Here you go,” someone might say. “I appreciate it!” you might offer back. Instead of providing mindless words, try to stay mindful at the moment to give a detailed reason why you felt gratitude in a specific moment.

4. Volunteer to do the unpleasant stuff.

When you offer to do the work that others want to avoid, you’re helping them, and you practice more gratitude.

Even if the only thing you can offer is a hug, having a connection with the people around you can help you see how much gratefulness exists in today’s world.

Why Do We Make Bad Decisions?

It would be fair to say that most people don’t purposely make bad decisions. When poor choices happen, it is usually due to several circumstances coming together simultaneously to create an adverse life event.

We must also consider our circumstances. The average person has about 20,000 thoughts and 2,000 decisions that get made each hour.

Most of our choices are made automatically. Some of them require some deep thought to come to the correct conclusion. Even then, we don’t always get to the right place.

Here are some of the most common reasons why we make bad decisions in life.

1. We Are Always Distracted

Researchers found that the average person processes about five times more information today than what people were managing 30 years ago. Our technology access provides unprecedented convenience, but it also creates a constant distraction state. Many people struggle to focus, constantly checking email, social media, and the news to feel like they’re up-to-date with current events.

2. Zero Input

Bad decisions get made because some people don’t get opportunities to contribute. In the average meeting, only three individuals do a majority of the speaking. When someone has an introverted personality, they’re hesitant to say anything until there is something specific to contribute.

3. Excessive Multi-Tasking

Only 2% of the human race has the mental capacity to manage multiple projects simultaneously without losing productivity. For everyone else, each transition to a new task can take up to 15 minutes before the pace gets restored. If you’re checking email constantly while trying to finish a project, you may never reach peak production – and that leads to poor decisions.

4. Emotional Reactions

When your anger levels rise, the logic centers of the brain decrease. Once you reach an emotional peak, you are at the highest risk of making poor choices. This issue also occurs with happiness because it increases the chances that someone will act impulsively.

When too much information is available, it can lead to paralysis. This situation can also cause people to hesitate or rush the decision-making process, causing bad decisions to happen repetitively.

Self-Worth Exercises to Try Each Day

It is not unusual for people to feel moments of uncertainty and doubt. Even confident individuals have moments when they second-guess their situation or think of themselves as a failure.

These moments don’t define who you are. It’s part of the human experience.

When you feel a negative self-worth approach frequently, your responses can get in the way of living a happy and healthy life. The following exercises are worth trying daily to counter the adverse feelings.

List of the Best Self-Worth Exercises to Try Daily

1. I’m Great Because…

If you feel down about the person you are, try finishing the following sentences in positive ways.

  • I am fantastic at…
  • I have talents that help me…
  • I like the person I am because…
  • My friends like me because…
  • People praise me for…
  • I am successful because…

When you see all of the good things about yourself in writing, it is much easier to restore your self-worth.

2. “I Am” Affirmations

Affirmations are positive expressions that you repeat to yourself over 5-10 minutes. You can say them out loud, as a whisper, or silently as thoughts.

The best affirmations create “I am” statements that express why you should have self-worth. These ideas might be fun to try!

  • I am beautiful.
  • I am valuable.
  • I am confident when sharing ideas.
  • I am talented in my career.
  • I am special.

3. Create a Self-Worth Journal

Journaling can be a fantastic way to cope with challenging emotions. When you doubt your self-worth, this writing tool can help you see a place where positive outcomes exist that might get overlooked.

Since writing isn’t a skill that everyone is comfortable pursuing, try using this template to fill in the blanks.

  • Paragraph 1: I felt at peace today for these five reasons.
  • Paragraph 2: I had these three small successes.
  • Paragraph 3: My best attribute is…
  • Paragraph 4: I felt proud of myself today when…
  • Paragraph 5: I feel best about myself after…

When you can avoid negativity, it is much easier to see the positive energy flowing in your life each day. Use these exercises to explore your self-worth so that it can be an accurate reflection of who you are.

How to Get Rid of Bad Thoughts

Negative thoughts can be enormously destructive. These ideas could cause you to spiral toward depression, adversely impact your self-esteem, and make you believe that you’re worthless.

Although some people think you can wish bad thoughts away, it isn’t always that easy to do. It would help if you built a strong foundation to use to transition from negative to positive ideas.

Changing your mood through brands like Thorne Research and NuMedica can begin that journey. Once you start moving, it may be beneficial to include these additional ideas to cleanse your mind from those unwanted thoughts.

1. Alter Your Body Language

Do you stand with a closed posture? When you sit, does your back start aching because you remain hunched? These elements of body language contribute to a sour mood and bad thoughts. If you can open yourself up more, offer a smile, and remain consistent, those negative ideas will start fading away.

2. Talk About It

Bad thoughts develop when you’re unsure of how to proceed with a specific event. When you can talk with someone you trust, putting the ideas into words can make it easier to process that information. It makes those concepts visible, which creates more opportunities to use coping skills.

3. Empty Your Mind

Racing thoughts can generate a plethora of bad ideas extremely fast. If you can achieve even 60 seconds of calm, the emptiness your mind experiences is like pushing the reset button on a computer. Try to focus on a single element in your environment while taking deep breaths. Even if you need to count each second, your brain won’t be preoccupied on the bad stuff.

4. Embrace Creativity

It helps to find creative outlets for your negative energy. You could paint something, draw, write something down, play an instrument, or carve a sculpture! Whatever it is that you do to find peace should be a point of emphasis during this time.

5. Take a Walk

If nothing seems to transition your brain away from its bad thoughts, try to get some exercise. Spending about 30 minutes outside on a walk can alter your perspective. Consider taking time to explore a local nature trail, forest, or arboretum for the maximum benefit.

Bad thoughts don’t need to be the ruler of your life. With these interventions, you can take back control.

Tips for Singles Trying to Survive Valentine’s Day

February is the worst time of year for anyone who is single and actively looking to develop a relationship. Walking into any store bombards you with love messages, balloons, expensive flowers, and questions about when you’ll finally meet someone.

Surviving Valentine’s Day isn’t always easy, but it is possible when you can take these steps to have some more fun with the experience.

Tip #1: Take Care of Yourself

What is it that makes you a special person? What are some of the things you like to do for fun? Instead of thinking about being single, get yourself out there to take care of yourself. Instead of buying things for others, invest that money into you.

Tip #2: Find a Friend

If Valentine’s Day is bothersome for you, don’t spend the evening alone in front of the television. Grab a friend and do something with the day. You could do some volunteering, find an online class to take, or place a call to someone you haven’t spoken with in a while. Taking this step will stop you from feeling like you’re on an island.

Tip #3: Spend Time with Loved Ones

You don’t need to have a spouse, a boyfriend, or a girlfriend to turn Valentine’s Day into a special event. This day is about celebrating the loves in your life that you do have. If you make plans with your siblings, parents, or best friend, it can still be a fantastic experience. You’ll discover that more couples than not don’t have plans for this holiday, so there are numerous opportunities available to do something fun.

Tip #4: Stay Away from Restaurants

Restaurants are packed on Valentine’s Day with couples and families celebrating their relationships. When you’re single, that’s the last thing you want to see. You could cozy up to the bar, but that action risks meeting someone even more desperate than you feel. Order from your favorite place, have someone deliver it, and enjoy a movie with someone you appreciate.

You can turn Valentine’s Day into a positive experience with some proactive efforts. Once you get past the holiday, you can start focusing on finding that relationship you want again.

How Art Works as a Form of Meditation

When someone meditates, they concentrate on a specific focus item. Many people choose to review their deep breathing because the physical processes deliver more oxygen and energy to the body.

You could choose a candle flame, a particular sound in your environment, or a specific sensation.

Some people go in a different direction. They choose to make art as their meditation form, and here’s how you can do the same thing.

Meditation is About Focus and Redirection

Meditation’s goal is to offer clarity by training the mind to redirect itself from spiraling thoughts. Many people feel that they’ve failed at their efforts to meditate because their mind races.

Every mind creates racing thoughts. How you respond to that situation is the difference between meditating or not. By redirecting the ideas to something specific, categorizing them for later review, and paying attention to the focus point, you’re having a successful session.

What is the focal point when you create art? It is whatever you want it to be!

Some people make sculptures. You might like to paint or practice photography. Like coloring pages in a book, even something simple can achieve the same mindset that a formal meditation session offers.

How Art Becomes Therapy

When you can find creative expression moments, the activities through art can foster positive well-being and healing opportunities.

People use art to explore their challenging emotions. It’s a way to develop more self-awareness by learning how to cope with stress.

You can even use art to build social skills or give a boost to your self-esteem.

Meditation encourages each person to acknowledge their feelings, recognize what could be lurking within the subconscious, and discover the true self. When you can be authentic in each moment during the day, you take one step closer to becoming a world-changer!

If the lotus position doesn’t feel like the right way to meditate, consider pursuing something artistic. You could make music, write a poem, or draw chalk art outside – it doesn’t matter! When the activity works for you, it creates a foundation for the results you want to appear.

Best Wellness Practices to Undo Holiday Stress

When life gets busy, our wellness practices can take a hit. We compromise on the things we know we should do because the achievable outcomes feel worthwhile.

The truth about stress is that it won’t go away by itself. You need coping mechanisms to get the results you want.

When the holidays come around, it becomes even more critical to handle stressful situations immediately. If these wellness practices are in your toolbox, you’ll be more likely to have a successful outcome

List of the Best Wellness Practices to Adopt Today

  1. Call for your annual check-up a couple of months before it is due. Once your schedule starts getting busy, it can feel like a runaway train.
  2. Block out some time on your calendar for fun assignments. It might be a chance to coach soccer, play dodgeball, or work toward a professional degree or certificate you’ve wanted to obtain.
  3. Have healthy snacks available to eat at your desk or office. The best choices are items you’ll eat when feeling hungry without binging on empty sugar calories.
  4. Create a plan for your hydration. Most people don’t get enough to drink each day, and caffeine infusions to compensate for fatigue might worsen the problem. If you bring a reusable water bottle with you each day, it’ll be easier to meet your needs.
  5. Avoid the trap of a high-calorie lunch by bringing something from home.
  6. Have a three-day weekend at least once every quarter to give yourself something to look forward to on your calendar. If the only thing on your schedule is work or rest, you’ll reach a burn out stage faster than you might expect.
  7. Have five go-to recipes that you can make at home after work. If it is easy to make and has healthy ingredients, you’ll save money and reduce your calories compared to eating out more often.
  8. Take your time back by staying accountable to your schedule. If you create a standing appointment for therapy sessions, time at the gym, martial arts classes, or afternoons with your family, you’ll have more moments to enjoy.

Wellness happens when you make bold choices to include ideas like these in your life. How could you restructure your schedule to be more inclusive of what you love to do?

Why Does Self-Discipline Often Lead to Happiness?

Let’s talk about your morning routine for a moment.

After you get out of bed, you might make a quick bathroom run before grabbing some breakfast. Do you get a bowl of cereal, or is it a full meal with eggs, bacon, and toast?

Do you settle for taking items from Quality of Life or Standard Process to get you to lunch?

When you brush your teeth after, is it for the full two minutes.

Once you get in your vehicle for the commute, how fast do you drive? Are you close to the speed limit each time, or does riding with you feel like you’re on an IndyCar street track?

If you stay within the structures that keep you disciplined, happiness grows. This joy comes from the contentment that develops when you’re within the guidelines of an established routine. 

What Are the Benefits of a Daily Routine?

A daily routine’s health benefits are crucial to review, especially if you are at a place in life where disruptions frequently occur.

One of the most significant challenges of 2020 has been to adapt to new circumstances. It can be a struggle for some people, leading them to a place where mental health and wellness are more challenging to find.

When you take your vitamins and supplements, that’s one step toward a healthy outcome. It feels good to get those items in your body, but you’ll feel better when you can add your usual breakfast into the mix!

Routines provide us with stress relief. When you have more time to relax, less anxiety comes along to threaten how you feel.

If you experience less anxiety, you’re more likely to have better sleep patterns. When you get 7-9 hours of rest each night (or the amount your body requires), you’re more likely to be healthy.
Everyone is unique, which means each routine requires individualization to be successful. That’s why self-discipline is such a critical component of this process. When you can stay disciplined with your choices, the results will help happiness grow.