It seems that people who work with their hands are happier, in life, than many. Studies have actually been conducted on certain types of crafting, such as knitting. In surveying more than 3,500 knitters, more than 80 percent of the respondents with depression said they felt happier after knitting. Studies have also found such links with pottery and cross-stitching.
How it Helps
It’s probably no surprise that hand crafting helps with mental struggles such as anxiety and depression, or even your run-of-the-mill stressful life. The creativity involved in tackling a hands-on activity causes our brains to release dopamine, which works as a natural anti-depressant. The concentration crafting activities require can also help distract you from any negative cycles of thought or focusing on a tough situation too much. The repetition involved in many crafts also releases serotonin, acting as an anti-depressant.
The tasks of creating work with your hands also becomes a talking point with others – enabling you to share something you’re passionate about. Learning a skill and doing it well over time results in improved self-esteem, not to mention you’ll actually have the fruits of your labor to keep, gift, or sell. Try taking up knitting or crochet, or a cross-stitch pattern. Painting or drawing, even if you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing, can be very therapeutic. You can probably find classes in both through a local school or the library. If you like to build, you could work on some DIY projects, restore furniture you find, or learn to carve and whittle. If you like the intricacy and problem-solving of building, model cars or planes are also something you could try, because when they’re all painted and complete, they look exquisite!
While not everyone enjoys every craft, trying a few out to find what you might like will be worth it. Even if it’s a hobby you only have time for a few moments each week, you’ll find that you feel more accomplished and healthier as your mental state is refreshed!
For other ideas on how to improve your health or make better choices for your mind and body, schedule a visit today by clicking below. We look forward to hearing from you!
Dr. Julie Drolet
P.S. Your hormones play a key role in how you feel each day, and you can find out more about them in our free webinar, found here.