I’ve been asked quite a few times, “What do you do to keep yourself from going crazy?” My answer to this question is always the same: “Hobbies.” After this, the conversation continues in the same way no matter who I am talking to:
“Is there anything you do that makes you feel really at peace with yourself and makes you forget about everything else?”
“Everyone has something, you should try to find what works for you.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
This is very simple advice and is easier said than done, but the point that I try to make when a friend asks me this question is deeper. When I feel overwhelmed with life’s challenges, the only thing that I have found I can do is to escape the stress by diving into activities that make me forget the world. I’m fortunate to have found more than one such pastime. Photography may be my favorite, because there is nothing more calming to me than grabbing my camera and walking out into nature (though in times when I am feeling more irritated than overwhelmed it helps more to sit myself in front of my Playstation for a few hours instead). Passions like these are important. How are you supposed to enjoy life when you dwell on the negatives? When you find something that you do for yourself and love so profoundly, it makes life worth all of the irritants.
I’m not saying that you should drop several hundred dollars on a camera and trek out in to the woods, but it is important for you to have something that makes the world stop turning for a few hours, or even just a few minutes. If you feel as though you do not have a passion that does this for you then maybe you are lucky, because this means you have the universe at your finger tips waiting to be explored. You never know what it could be that your soul is drawn to, so try everything. Try cooking, try writing, try running, try carpentry, try playing an instrument, try volunteering, try anything you can think of. Try everything you’ve always wanted to try and everything that you have never considered. Not only will you learn more about yourself on the journey, but it is rewarding to find the passion that allows your soul to silence your mind. When you learn how to let go of your stressors and fill your time with things that move you, you will become a happier person who is more in love with life and with yourself than you thought you could be. This is my promise to you.