There are many reasons to look into buying a motorcycle to restore: an additional vehicle, a part-time hobby, or even a relaxing weekend activity. After you’ve gone through the necessary safety and licensing courses, you’re on your way to your next purchase. However, many of your close friends and family members may be concerned with a number of aspects attributed to rebuilding and riding a motorcycle.
One of the main ways you can help ease their tension surrounding your new bike is by assuring them that it may not only contribute to your mental wellbeing but your physical health as well. When it comes to stress-relieving activities, it’s not only about escaping from the daily struggles in life. Reducing your stress can reduce the risk of developing mental health conditions and even physical ailments like heart disease. But they don’t need to just take your word for it – here’s how restoring a motorcycle can help relieve stress.
An Active Pastime
Mental health professionals from online resources like MyTherapist regularly suggest having an “active pastime.” While a relaxing, stress-relieving pastime may be something like reading or playing your favorite video game, an active pastime puts in a little more work. Having a hobby that increases your heart rate regularly, provides an increased challenge, and stimulates brain activity contributes to reduced stress hormones.
Brain activity is a major contributing factor to improving a person’s mental health. While it may initially seem like a vague term, brain activity in this context refers to the “ability to perform a given cognitive or physical task.” These kinds of hobbies stimulate not only your physical capabilities but your mental skills as well, which can result in a greater sense of accomplishment and positivity for many people.
With the additional benefit of contributing to your physical wellbeing, decreasing stress and anxiety can reduce future concerns. By making restoration a part of your regular routine, whether it’s once a week or whenever you have the opportunity, your body becomes used to the increased workflow and has a greater chance of switching into a state of flow easier. “Flow” is the state of hyper-focus you may experience that can boost inspiration and motivation.
Visual Progression and Results
Restoration projects can greatly contribute to a positive mindset because of the easily obtainable results. Even if a project can take weeks or months, the visual progression and development of restoring a motorcycle provide physical evidence of accomplishment. As you work towards your goal, it can feel easier to take pride in your work as a difficult task is completed or a new part is installed. As you learn more about maintenance and consult other industry experts on tips and tricks, you’ll be able to see your own knowledge and expertise grow along with the project.
Regardless of whether the restoration is a full-bodied overhaul or a newly designed paint job, each step of the way can provide you results that are easily tracked. Especially for individuals that are interested in learning new skills or educating themselves, the gradual progression of restoration can trigger the release of serotonin and dopamine. These are chemicals in your brain that are known to increase positive emotions, confidence, and an upbeat outlook on activities. Completing an objective or finishing a significant section of your project may feel similar to the experience you get after a workout or morning run.
The Mental Health Benefits of Riding a Motorcycle
Restoring a motorcycle can bring you many mental health benefits, especially if you have the opportunity to keep the bike afterward instead of returning it to a friend or customer. A recent neurobiological study found that there were significant differences in neurological and physiological responses when a participant was riding a motorcycle versus when they were driving a car or in a rested state. The researchers suggested this activity could contribute to a significant decrease in everyday stresses. It’s also been supported by research that going on motorcycle rides regularly can lead to prolonged improvements in stress and anxiety levels, as well as overall positivity.
For friends, family members, or close colleagues that are concerned about riding motorcycles, it can be a refreshing reminder that research has shown motorcyclists have a heightened awareness of their surroundings and are more alert than when driving a car. Especially after going through the proper training and classes required to achieve your motorcyclist license, you not only have the education but the chemical release of brain stimulants for more conscious driving. Studies have shown that riding a motorcycle increases stress-relieving chemicals with the increase of adrenaline and heart rate, contributing to both increased concentration and endorphin release.
As you continue to work through repair, maintenance, and research for the restoration of your motorcycle, keep in mind that there can be positive stressors as well. Challenging tasks that can frustrate you, like having difficulty positioning a part or removing a stubborn bolt, can be the biggest contributors to an endorphin release. While your hobbies shouldn’t necessarily revolve around consistently difficult undertakings, the rough moments are just as positive to your mental health development.
Restoring a motorcycle can be a long, difficult process, especially for those that don’t initially have experience in mechanical maintenance. However, it’s not just about rebuilding something for a mental health boost during a ride. The entire restoration process is a contributing factor to good mental health practice and can be just the pastime you need in order to release more serotonin and endorphins. While you may not start out or finish up as an expert, the gradual learning process that can be visually tracked through your work is a significant contribution to a positive outlook.
When people consider taking care of their mental health, they may think of regularly visiting a mental health professional and taking an extra vacation. However, your hobbies play a big role in regular mental health maintenance as well. Restoration can be a great way to practice mindfulness, increase your experience in a field you’re interested in, and give you some time outside of the house and in the sunlight.