In a previous blog post, we've shared our favorite articles that describe the meditative and the healing power of crafts for your mental health and general well-being.

 

6 Reasons why crafts are good for your well-being and mental health

Manual activities such as needlepoint (and needlework in general), knitting, crochet, weaving, ceramics, etc. that consist of repetitive actions, enable a "flow" and a immersive statuscalming the mind and reducing stress. 

More and more we see testimonials of people that returned to craft when they were feeling ill. Also, a study undertaken in 2017 on the impact of knitting also states that crafting is great for your health, so why not give it a try?

These were the main findings of the study, on the benefits of knitting:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces depression and anxiety
  • Slows the onset of dementia
  • Is as relaxing as yoga
  • Distracts from chronic pain
  • Provides an opportunity for creativity (at a time of reducing capacity)
  • Increases sense of wellbeing
  • Reduces loneliness and isolation
  • Increases sense of usefulness and inclusion in society

 

But there's more... and below we are sharing 6 good reasons on why you should try some crafty activities!

 

1. A way to de-stress from the modern-day living

It’s not surprising that we are spending more time looking at screens. The pressures of modern-day living to be constantly online, can sometimes feel overwhelming, and extremely stressful.

Thus, it is important to make time to unwind and de-stress in order to take care of your mental health. Starting a craft activity is a good option, as it will enable you to become immersed in creating. Your mind will break away from pressing or distracting thoughts, and really focus on the task at hand. 

Also, starting a hobby with crafts is also a good excuse to feel productive past-time and keep rested without stopping.

 

2. Promoting positive health and mental clarity

Besides the benefits for the physical health mentioned above, creating something can be also seen as a contemplation tool. As your mind is freed from stressful thoughts, when doing a manual activity you are also enabling mental clarity. You can reassess problems and make plans more clearly and calmly.

Also, "the increase of dopamine caused by creating art and craft enhances the creation of new neurons, which promotes focus, concentration and readies the brain for learning." (from here)

"By creating art, you strengthen the connectivity between the brain’s left and right hemispheres, in doing so boosting psychological resilience and productivity."

 

3. Your confidence will boost

The same increase in dopamine, which is also known as the "feel-good" hormone, will boost the increase of your self-esteem.

When seeing the finished work by your own hands, you will fell a sense of achievement, caused by your brain's rewarding system through dopamine, which naturally will make you happier and good about yourself.

  

4. Connection to tradition

Many thinkers about the future believe that coding is the new literacy. What is then the impact for old traditions and ways of being, of this new society we are living in? The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts, has identified more than 20 craft skills that are either extinct or critically endangered.

Fortunately though, there are many projects like ours that try to preserve and promote old artisan techniques, giving them a modern and contemporary twist; or projects like Craft Connected, that are implementing innovative ways of harnessing new tech for tradition-based creative activities. 

When doing a craft, you are also helping preserving important heritages from the past, preserving yesterday's skills for tomorrow.

 

5. Sense of community

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing an increase in online communities through Instagram and Facebook, gathering people together doing crafts via Zoom meetings. It's very positive seeing how people are using modern technology to continue to stay together and feel included and supported. 

Crafting together is a way to feel connected, and as mentioned above, reducing loneliness and isolation.

 

6. You can do this!

Don't feel discouraged by trying new things outside your comfort zone. Creativity is something that is inherent to all of us, and we just need to keep developing it, step by step, at our own rhythm.

You will be amazed by how much you can achieve, once you decide to give the first step.

Also, trying new creative activities is particularly good for our emotions and wellbeing. This research has found that "getting hands-on with something new and creative is important regardless of skill level - it is the taking part that counts."

 

Finally, in our opinion, there's the good news that manual crafts are very addicting, in a positive way! Once you start, it will be "easy" not to stop. Or so we hope so!

 

Happy crafting!

xo,

Cristina