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Old 01-19-2019, 05:41 AM #1
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Sometimes (especially when I'm feeling depressed or manic), it is very difficult for me to focus on the things that I love to do. The things that make me feel whole. The things that I absolutely love to do when I'm in a good place.
For me, some of these hobbies include tending to my bonsai trees, playing mandolin (even my wife doesn't mind that one), playing billiards, taking walks in the woods, snuggling/ playing with my kitties, or reading a good book. These activities encourage me to be grateful for where I am and helps me center myself all at the same time.
Speaking for myself, I find that focusing on the things that I love can almost act as a therapy in itself as they provide a consistent measure of healing. It seems to me that they almost act as a "medication" or have healing properties due to the emotions and insight they invoke. One observation, however, is that these activities or hobbies always center on me being by myself. The ones that I take the most pleasure in are usually refreshingly isolating.
My question to everyone is... Have you noticed any similar observations? Are activities that provide isolation actually self-sabotage? What activities help you to be in a good place? Do you prefer isolation or activities in a group?
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:08 AM #2
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Default Re: Can Personal Hobbies Act As Effective Therapy?

I have a couple of hobbies, my favorite of which is making beaded jewelry. When I get involved in a project, all the concerns in my little world fall away and I am totally absorbed in what I am doing. I am a social person so do some of my beading at a local shop with other people who share my interest.

Shorter answer: hobbies are good for the soul in my opinion! If you are worried about doing them in isolation, maybe you could find a group(s) that are into what you are. Great way to make friends, too.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:48 AM #3
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Default Re: Can Personal Hobbies Act As Effective Therapy?

I do think hobbies can be therapeutic. My 2 favourites are knitting and playing my harp. With both of them, I can get completely lost in them, and do them for hours.


For me, they're also an effective distraction, when I get cravings to drink, since I've found I can't drink and do either well.


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Old 01-19-2019, 08:05 AM #4
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Default Re: Can Personal Hobbies Act As Effective Therapy?

Hobbies are extremely theraputic - when we do them. You are right about getting the motivation to get going to do them however. I don't know why this is so. For example, I am a visual artist. I love the process of making art no matter the end product. It just makes me so very calm to do so. But the problem is getting it all out and setting up a space in the first place. I just can't get up the gumption. It is the same thing with my most loved passion of kayaking - although that takes more effort to do so.

So why do we not rush to do these things that not only sooth and calm us but give us great joy?

One reason I think comes down to our low senses of self worth when we are depressed. The lower we feel the lower our opinion of our worthiness drops too. Could it be then that we don't feel we deserve the act of pursuing our hobbies in the first place?
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:33 AM #5
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Default Re: Can Personal Hobbies Act As Effective Therapy?

Hobbies are certainly something I would endorse myself. I started with cycling in order to get myself in to shape. For a long time, I found painting to be most relaxing too.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:49 PM #6
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Default Re: Can Personal Hobbies Act As Effective Therapy?

Yes hobbies do have a theraputic value for me personally cooking and gardening lowers my anxiety and depression. So does my dog however she is not my hobby i am a member of lots of dog groups on face book and i read allot on dogs, health, breeds so on. Also i bike ride with my husband he is so into cycling im kinda of am into it getting there
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:01 PM #7
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Default Re: Can Personal Hobbies Act As Effective Therapy?

Why not? Any meaningful activity can be therapeutic providing it is the right fit for the person at the time - it needs to promote flow, not failure
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:16 PM #8
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Default Re: Can Personal Hobbies Act As Effective Therapy?

I am a crafter too. Hence, my forum name, LOL For me, crafting is doing anything when I take individual pieces and make something new. For example, I love to write. I blog about mental health and my experiences. I also make beaded jewelry, crochet, some simple sewing and simpler painting, LOL

Without my crafting, my life would be dull.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:25 PM #9
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Smile Re: Can Personal Hobbies Act As Effective Therapy?

I don't do much in the way of hobbies anymore (unless you count being here on PC as a hobby.) I never did have a lot of them. I'd tinker around with this or that for a while. But then I'd just move on to something else. Nowadays I find that anything I do tends to stoke my anxiety & anger issues whenever it doesn't go just so. So even things I could do I tend to avoid so as to keep myself on as even a keel as possible.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:22 AM #10
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Default Re: Can Personal Hobbies Act As Effective Therapy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCrafter View Post
I am a crafter too. Hence, my forum name, LOL For me, crafting is doing anything when I take individual pieces and make something new. For example, I love to write. I blog about mental health and my experiences. I also make beaded jewelry, crochet, some simple sewing and simpler painting, LOL

Without my crafting, my life would be dull.
I love this response, HappyCrafter! That sounds like a lot of fun. I've would always say that I've never been much of a "crafty person" but with the definition you gave, I might just have what it takes to give it a shot!

I'm not sure if it's possible on this forum (I'm new here lol) but I would love it if you could share some of the stuff you've made! If not, no worries! Expectations can be anxiety-inducing... Don't worry about it if that's the case. I was just curious on what a HappyCrafter crafts lol.
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