This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Doing your own car maintenance and repairs has many benefits. The most obvious benefit is the lesser cost. You can save money by learning mechanics yourself. However, did you know that working on cars also has mental health benefits?
Men and boys are often overlooked when it comes to mental health. Often, they’re expected to be strong, emotionless, and “manly.” These stereotypes can be harmful. Putting energy into something physical can help you deal with the stress that comes with having to repress emotions.
Here are several ways that learning about cars and car care can help your mental health.
Father and Child Bonding
One of the best benefits of learning car care as a father is being able to pass it on to your sons and daughters as a life skill. Not only is it going to give them the knowledge they need to avoid technical car troubles down the road (get it?). It’s also going to provide a bonding opportunity for you and your child, which is priceless.
Spend some time teaching your child a little about cars and the parts that go into them. Even if they’re not super interested, by the time they have their first car, they’ll be grateful that you shared your knowledge with them. After all, our first car is usually one that needs a lot of work.
You can even buy a junk car for your child and have them fix it alongside you. In the end, it comes out as a fully functional car, and you and your child have the satisfaction of knowing you were able to get it there.
Physical Labor Is Healing
Physical labor is good for your mental health. Every time you do something that breaks a little bit of sweat or gets your heart pumping, you get a little more release of dopamine and other happy chemicals that keep your brain healthy.
Working on cars isn’t always the most physically straining thing to do, but it definitely can get your heart pumping. If you don’t have a car you’re currently working on, junk cars can cost less than 300 dollars, which is a steal! If you want to start your project sooner rather than later, it’s time to look into those cars that just need a little work to get going.
Being Proficient in a Skill Is Good for You
Outside of physical labor being good for you, so is proficiency. Learning skills shows you that you’re worth something, that you can accomplish a task, and that you are capable of learning new things.
There’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment and pride you feel when you finally get a car’s engine to start after three weeks of hard work in the sun. It’s an amazing feeling, and it’s even more amazing once you can start driving and getting out onto the open road to feel and experience that accomplishment.
Taking Out Anger and Stress
Finally, working on cars is an excellent outlet for anger and stress. Anger often comes with physical urges, especially for men who often bottle up emotions due to societal pressure. Working on a car is a great outlet that allows you to feel angry and physically heated without hurting someone or something.
Working on a project and finishing something is also great for reducing stress. It can become a regular hobby, which is good for your mental health.
If you want to learn more about the mental health of men and boys, check out BetterHelp’s advice column here: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/mental-heath-of-men-and-boys/.
Working on cars isn’t the only type of outlet you have. You can also learn many other hobbies and skills. The goal is to find something that allows you to express emotion in healthy ways.