Stress is an inevitable part of life. It is essentially a good thing, but experiencing it for an extended period of time will have negative effects on your body.
People have many different ways of dealing with stress. Indulging in a hobby, for example, is the typical go-to for most. Out of all the hobbies you could choose from, bird watching could be part of the most relaxing hobbies out there. In this article, I will show you the joy of birdwatching, a great way to relieve stress.
More of a Recreational Activity
Bird watching is intrinsically a recreational activity. Unlike what scientists practice, you do this typically for enjoyment.
Identifying birds for the sake of recreation might sound uninteresting to some, but I assure you that bird watching is more than identifying, classifying and then writing things down. It is more in the line of appreciating the beauty of nature.
Anyone can appreciate the beauty in the intricate weave of a bird’s feathers, from their patterns and color, to how they are structured to fit across a bird’s wings. There are a multitude of features a bird possesses that can be appreciated critically. You will come to realize that birds have more to offer than face value.
A Welcome Distraction
A necessary distraction from the serious side of life will help you deal with the stress that’s thrown at you.
Bird watching helps you focus on something else. It helps distract you from the list of things that stress you out. It gives you time to recover by diverting your concentration.
Bird watching is part visual and part auditory. Although it’s called bird watching, you will find that you will be using your hearing more often than you think. Birds are more easily identified by their calls so, not only are your eyes actively searching, but your ears are also actively filtering bird calls, distracting your mind in the process.
You never truly participate in any hobby alone. The same is true for bird watching. There are always people who will have the same interests and are more than willing to share their photos, videos, tricks, and tips about birds and their behaviors.
Engaging in groups, message boards, and public forums is what you could do to increase your knowledge about birds. You could actively participate by sharing your own photos or videos, help by sharing your insights on certain topics, or you could passively participate in them by lurking through said forums. It can also be a way for you to enjoy this hobby without going out yourself. Either way, bird watching will make sure that you won’t feel alone when you.
A Source of Accomplishment
Having a record of your findings, like the types of birds that visit or live in your local area or an album of beautiful bird pictures or, sketches are a source of pride and accomplishment.
Take pride in knowing that the content in the journal or album that you possess was entirely made by you.
A Good Way to Keep Your Body Active
Exercise is a proven way to reduce the negative effects stress does on your body. When bird watching, you will surely have to hike to reach the remote areas that some birds reside in, giving your body some exercise.
Even if you bird watch from your backyard, you can still keep your body active. Maintaining and arranging your garden or backyard to attract birds definitely needs you to move around and exert physical effort.
A Hobby You Can Always Get Back To
Most hobbies require a certain amount of skill and polish. When you stop practicing, your skills tend to degrade to a certain degree. Birdwatching is nothing like this.
Birdwatching does not require you to have a certain set of specialized skills. This means you could take an extended break from bird watching and then come back to it whenever you want. There is no pressure in bird watching. There are no tasks to accomplish, a competition to win, goals to achieve other than those you set for yourself. You can do it whenever you have free time.
Bird watching isn’t necessarily an expensive hobby. I say necessarily because you could always spend more to acquire higher quality equipment, but this is entirely optional. The only piece of equipment you really need is a pair of binoculars. A camera is another piece of equipment you could bring, but if you don’t have one, your smartphone will do.
Bring a guide
Bring a written guide, or field guide, with you. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a book; There are applications for your smartphone that are available to you, which have free and paid variants.
Bring something to record your findings
Lastly, bring a notebook or sketchbook to your outings. This isn’t anything too serious. It’s just to record your personal understanding of your observations. Write or draw anything you would like in your journal. It doesn’t matter if your writing or drawing is sub-par. The important thing is you are placing something in your journal. In time your understanding will grow, and so will the quality of the things you place in your journal.
Bird watching offers several ways to bring joy and relieve stress. It is a low cost and low entry hobby that you can enjoy in your spare time. So get out there and enjoy what birdwatching can offer!
About The Author
Brett Lewis is the founder and a content contributor for BirdInformer.com. He is an avid bird watcher and has built a bird sanctuary in his backyard following guidelines provided by the National Wildlife Federation. Additionally, Brett loves to travel and when he does, Brett is always looking for unique and interesting birdlife to write about.