These 10 Hobbies Improve Focus and Mental Health

Hobbies are an essential part of maintaining mental health. It’s important to nurture activities that spark creativity, bring in your focus, and fill you with joy. Here are a few fun hobbies that improve mood, focus, and mental health. Enjoy!

1. Aerobic Exercise

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Healthy body, healthy mind. Aerobic exercise is the best thing for boosting your mental health. A recent study found that running for 15 minutes daily or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression.

Clinical Research and Fellow Karmel Choi at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health elaborates: “We saw a 26% decrease in odds for becoming depressed for each major increase in objectively measured physical activity.”

So, find an aerobic hobby to benefit your mental health the most. Some examples include running, swimming, cycling, basketball, and intensive yoga.

2. Crochet

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Crochet requires focus and is another great hobby for your mental health. You can take crochet classes or teach yourself for free on YouTube. My sister says the key is to start small and give yourself grace. Before taking on a full Afghan blanket, begin with the small animal crochet kits!

3. Puzzles

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I love jigsaw puzzles because they help me slow down, quiet my mind, and focus my energy on putting something together. Every puzzle piece you place is a little feel-good dopamine hit. If space and surfaces are limited, you can buy a puzzle board that slides under a couch or bed to free up your table.

Truthfully, I’ve had great luck with puzzles at the thrift stores. I’ve only ever had a couple that were indeed missing pieces. So, the hobby is also relatively affordable.

4. Model Kits

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Another ideal hobby to improve focus and mental health is putting together model kits or LEGO building sets. There are model kits you can put together and paint. My husband loves assembling metal model kits representing his favorite comic book heroes and things from their worlds.

5. Sewing

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Sewing is another hobby that requires focus and attention to detail. The big reward in crafting this hobby is that you are creating anything from curtains to clothing. So, there’s a sense of accomplishment that gives you positive dopamine hits.

6. Calligraphy

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My stepmom loves calligraphy and swears it’s great for focus and fostering creativity. I must admit, I love receiving cards with her beautifully written messages.

Writing calligraphy requires a sincere focus on each letter while also thinking a letter or two ahead, so it’s centering and almost becomes meditative. It’s inexpensive to begin and only requires a sheet of paper, a pen, and some ink.

7. Gardening

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Gardening is a fun hobby that has various outcomes. You can plant beautiful flowers or cultivate a garden with delicious herbs, fruits, and vegetables. It requires focus and a little hit-and-miss patience. It’s also another excellent way to get outside and connect with nature.

8. Fishing

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Did you know fishing is a light exercise that lowers your cortisol levels, commonly known as your stress hormone? Fishing requires awareness and focus that removes the internal conflict in worried minds. It helps reduce anxiety and depression; one of the greatest joys in this hobby is the connection to nature, which is necessary for good mental health.

9. Ceramics

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Ceramics gives you the opportunity to play with fire and mud. Come on, let’s go! It’s a peak-centering activity resulting in beautiful creations you take home. Adult education centers are some of the most inexpensive places, and it’s always a lot of fun. You can also buy premade ceramics and paint them at home.

10. Adult Coloring

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Did you enjoy coloring as a kid? Adult coloring is therapeutic and fits the bill for a hobby that improves focus and mental health. There are thousands of fun options, from mandalas to CBT art coloring books.

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.