These hobbies can reduce stress by 60%, study reveals

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A recent survey of 2,000 adults, conducted by Adobe Express, has found that over a third (35%) turn to reading in order to relax.

Interestingly, studies have also shown that reading as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 60% – by reducing heart rate, easing muscle tension and altering your state of mind.

As well as having reading as their hobby of choice, people also turn to walking, cooking, baking and journaling in their downtime. Hobbies like this have been proven to reduce anxiety and improve mental health, whilst also helping many manage their emotions in a positive and productive manner.

So what are the benefits of introducing reading into your daily routine? Three-quarters (74%) of people surveyed by The Reader say reading has a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing. The hobby is also known for improving critical thinking and creativity skills, as well as enhancing knowledge.

Reading was closely followed by walking (30% of participants) which is well known for its positive mental and physical health qualities, as well as cooking and baking (30%), which is known to stimulate the senses, and boost self-esteem.

A study conducted by the American Psychological Association, revealed a 25% lowered risk of depression among adults who got the recommended amount of physical activity per week—about 2.5 hours of brisk walking. Getting more exercise than that did not seem to confer extra mood benefits.

Another survey that two-thirds of respondents said that baking usually improves their mood, while 61% said that sharing their bakes with others makes them happy.

Other creative hobbies Brits turn to in a bid to chill out, included playing an instrument (24%), solo sports (24%) and journaling (22%).

Journaling has also been found to be a healthy way of dealing with stress and challenges, as well as helping with problem solving and personal growth, whilst writing and knitting are great for cognitive function and easing anxiety.

Just six per cent of respondents stated they did not do any hobbies or pastimes as a means of unwinding.

The Top Hobbies People Turn to in Order to Relax

Rank

Hobby

Percentage of respondents regularly undertaking the hobby (%)

1

Reading

35%

2

Walking

30%

3

Cooking and baking

29%

4

Playing an instrument / Sports (solo)

25%

5

Journaling

22%

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