The popularity of DIY projects and crafting is a huge trend that’s here to stay. From making your own unique birthday cards to adorning your home with handmade wall art, it’s not only a fun way to spend time but also has many health benefits. In fact, arts and crafts stimulate our brains in several different ways. They can raise happiness and lessen depression, improve cognition and mental wellness and even affect how we perceive our surroundings and learn.
The Sense of Achievement
When you make something that you’re proud of, you’re rewarded with a natural feeling of accomplishment. The repetitive motions and ‘flow’ of crafting can also reduce anxiety levels and trigger the release of serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. The pleasure you feel when creating something is a positive, self-esteem boost that’s natural and long lasting.
Crafting Helps Sleep Better
Not being able to sleep is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to people and it has the potential to lead to serious health problems. Studies show that knitting, sewing, crocheting and other textile crafts can increase the chances of a good night’s rest. It’s believed that the repetitive action of stitching and yarn play helps calm the brain and body which allows for a better night’s sleep.
Increases Social Interaction
Another great thing about crafting is the sense of community and friendship it can bring. It’s easy to find local groups to join, from cropping groups and knitting circles to sculpting clubs and polymer clay retreats. It’s not only a great way to meet like-minded friends but it also helps to alleviate loneliness. Some crafters even form altruistic groups that donate their finished goods to hospitals and other worthy causes.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Arts and crafts have been shown to enhance the function of the brain by increasing its speed and accuracy. These improvements are thought to be linked to the release of certain neurotransmitters that stimulate the brain, including dopamine, which is known as a motivating chemical.
Getting into a creative activity like crafting can have the added benefit of relieving stress. The calming effects of sewing, crocheting and other tactile craft activities can lower blood pressure, decrease cortisol levels, which is important for the body’s ability to fight off disease, and generally promote better mental and physical health.
Enhances Visual Perception
When we craft, our brain can learn and remember shapes and colours much more easily because the visual information is constantly being processed by the brain. This helps us see the big picture and can lead to more informed decisions when it comes to choosing and buying clothing, home furnishings, and other household items.
The next time you’re thinking of reaching for your craft supplies, remember that not all activities are created equal. While some crafts are a waste of money, others can be quite therapeutic and provide health benefits to help you live a happier, healthier life.