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From TED talks to stand-up comedy and more, here are seven unique hobbies to boost your financial confidence.

During the pandemic, many of us have taken to baking bread, doing puzzles, doing paint-by-number masterpieces, or tackling home improvement projects. And while those hobbies might have been fun for a while, were they really the kind of things we wanted to do long term? In 2022, it’s time to be a little more strategic with your hobbies to make sure they really bring you happiness and benefit your mental health.

This week, we spoke with a variety of experts — from psychologists to wellness coaches and more — to better understand which hobbies boost positivity, encourage togetherness, and improve our financial confidence. Consider this your list of inspiration:

Take a comedy or improv class

Christine Agro, a meditation and mindfulness expert and master energy worker, says positivity is created by feeling joyful, hopeful, uplifted and inspired. And an easy way to stimulate these emotions is to laugh. In fact, a study found that 30 minutes of humor had the same impact on well-being as half an hour of yoga by lowering our blood pressure, heart rate and reducing feelings of psychological distress. And as Argo explains, laughter releases endorphins in the brain, creating happy chemicals to boost mood and metabolism. You can start by watching comedians or take it to the next level by signing up for a class. “A lot of places have two- to four-week programs where you learn how to create your comedy and then perform in a showcase,” she explains. “Plus, you can interact and meet new people, and you can push your own limits.”

create something

And by “something”, really, the act of creation, whatever it is, is mentally beneficial, according to the psychologist Dr. Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D. Having an extended time at home when we are unable to participate in our regular activities allows us to adopt inventive new skills or improve on those we already have. “You can boost positivity by working some creative muscles through quarantine hobbies such as cooking, baking, gardening, painting, knitting, dancing, etc.,” she continues. “It’s all a form of self-expression. Especially at a time when people generally feel a lack of control over the pandemic and its effects, it can be inspiring and joyful to find ways to grow and flourish.

Listen to 30 TED talks in 30 days

Want to stay at home? We have what you need. No, it may not be a hobby on its own, but it could become a habit you enjoy and, more importantly, it could inspire you to find your next big idea or passion. (At the very least, you’re guaranteed to have encouragement and joy.) As Jennie Yoon, the founder of Studio Kinn, explains, TED offers a deep dive into a variety of topics, from personal growth and social change to finance and beyond, all of which offer a break from the COVID-19 news cycle. You will definitely learn something new and feel happier once the discussion is over. Yoon suggests taking a 30-minute walk or wrapping up your workout for the day while you log in to level up. “Combining physical exercise – which increases endorphins and adrenaline, helping us feel positive, confident and happier – with mental exercise is one of the surest ways to start your day fresh and healthy. positivity,” she shares. “It takes us at least two to four weeks to form a new habit, and having an organized list of 30 talks will help structure the plan and make those thirty minutes each morning something you look forward to.”

Find and start a secondary hustle

We all have this idea in our heads that we turn to when we feel stressed from work or about to quit. It’s the prospect of turning your passion – from writing to art and beyond – into your hustle. If you happen to have free time during your second quarantine, take it as a sign to invest in another source of income, which will improve your financial confidence, says Priyanka Murthy, founder and CEO of Access79. It doesn’t have to be anything huge either, she reminds, since the goal is to make it passive if you can. His personal scrambles include commercial real estate, the stock market, and cryptocurrency, all of which allow him to try his hand a bit and hopefully come back for more.

Sign up for a weekly class

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn another language, but you’ve run out of time to get started. Or, you thought about learning the piano, but it wasn’t a priority. Consider committing to some weekly lesson that will broaden your knowledge and give your brain something new to do other than work. “This hobby can increase positivity through intellectual stimulation and education,” Dr. Thomas recalls. And we love that a new language can also inspire us to take our next trip somewhere exotic.

Write every day for five minutes

For those who are not natural blacksmiths, looking at a blank page can be daunting. But with practice, it could become your new favorite way to express yourself, release your anxieties, solve problems, and record this unique time in history. Megan Cassidycertified mental health intern and certified teacher, suggests writing down the characteristics you’ve learned about yourself during the pandemic and trying to identify the upsides of living a slower life.

If you need more structure, spiritual psychologist and neuro coach vanessa ringel suggests jumping on the gratitude journal trend by making a habit of writing down three things you’re grateful for each morning or evening. “Where focus goes, energy flows… so by doing this very simple hobby, you’ll create neural pathways that will make what you love more familiar to your subconscious mind, and therefore help you attract more of it” , she explains.

Verify your bank account instead of Instagram

It’s scary but true: we pay much more attention to our social media platforms than our money. This is because these channels allow us to escape from our stream and disappear into whatever may offer something more exciting or engaging. And, like Jenny Black, the founder of Media Trauma Carehe said, our bank account has the opposite impact, sending us straight back to the present moment which might not be so rosy. “If you want to boost your financial confidence, going from fantasy to reality is essential,” she explains. “After a few weeks of devoting time, attention and creativity to the reality of your finances, your confidence will increase.”

It can also help you identify areas where you can save money that you are not currently enjoying. Once she embraced this practice, Black said she began to have fascinating revelations, such as:

  • What are all these subscriptions for?
  • We actually have some money to save this month!
  • If we stop paying delivery charges for takeout, we can build a fire pit in our backyard.

“Taking the time to click and scroll through your bank account may reveal that you have more than you think or less than you think, but more importantly it will reveal what is real. True trust and lasting change does not can come only from an awareness of our reality,” she adds.

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