Home Music intervention Explore These Relaxing Pastimes – The Oakland Press

Explore These Relaxing Pastimes – The Oakland Press

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Stress is a part of everyday life for many people. A recent American Psychological Association survey found that 44% of Americans believe their stress levels have increased in the past five years. Children also have difficulty, with almost a third of them reporting having experienced a health symptom associated with stress, such as an upset stomach, trouble sleeping and headaches.

Soothing activities that can ease the body’s reactions to stress are great ways to reduce stress. Fall is a great time of year to indulge in some relaxing activities as the school year picks up and life gets busy again after the slower summer. These hobbies and other interests can help control stress by promoting calm.

• Listen to and / or play music. Music can be energizing or calming, depending on the music you choose. Researchers at Stanford University have found that rhythmic music can have therapeutic effects to treat a range of neurological disorders, as it stimulates the brain and can possibly change how it works. Familiar melodies and soft music can reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol.

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

Doing light work in the yard or gardening in the sun can be calming and have a positive effect on mood. Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

• Gardening. Fall gardening or cleaning in your yard allows one person to take care of living things while getting some fresh air. Sunlight and the activity itself can be calming and have a positive effect on mood. A study from the Journal of Health Psychology found that gardening, like listening to music, lowers cortisol levels.

• Pick up a good book. Taking the time to relax and read can help relieve muscle tension, lower your heart rate, and induce calm. A study by the consultancy firm Mindlab International at the University of Sussex found that reading reduced stress levels by 68%.

• Start painting or crafting. Engaging in a creative hobby sharpens the mind and improves focus. You can also try to focus your emotions on the canvas to help release the tension. A 2014 study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy found that 81.5% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting.

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

Engaging in a creative hobby sharpens the mind and improves focus. Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

• Take a dance class. A form of art and music, dance can promote well-being through exercise and the expansion of creative capacity. It can also be good for the mind. A study by Swedish researchers published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that a dance intervention program, twice a week for eight months, helped teenage girls struggling with stress, anxiety, depression and Other problems. There are many relaxing activities that can tame stress, and these activities can be perfect for unwinding after a busy fall day.

Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection