In today’s Wellness Wednesday we’re talking all about the connection between crafts and our wellbeing. Did you know that making things, particularly crafting, can decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, loneliness and even dementia?
Craft courses have actually been prescribed to patients since the late 19th century, and basketry was used to relieve anxiety and physical ailments in soldiers in World War I. This is still continued today, with the charity ‘Combat Stress’, which addresses veterans’ mental health, offering pottery classes.
Studies suggests that activities such as painting, making music, sewing and baking can have positive effects on our mental health.
So how exactly is it beneficial to our wellness?
- It Reduces Anxiety
According to research, even just a. little time working on art can significantly reduce levels of anxiety. Crafts can offer a distraction and allow people to focus on the positives in life. Focusing on a craft project can have similar effects to meditation, which is a beneficial management technique for anxiety and depression.
- Boosts Our Mood
Recent studies provide evidence on how crafts and creativity can lift a person’s mood. A study on clay work published in Art Therapy suggests that handling clay can significantly reduce negative moods. Other studies have found that creativity allows people to change their perspective on life, helping them turn negative emotions into positive ones.
- Increases Happiness
Taking part in arts and crafts is an effective way to increase dopamine levels in your brain. In a study of 3,500 knitters, researchers found that 81% of knitters suffering with depression reported that knitting made them feel happier.
Are you looking to get your creative juices flowing, but not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:
- Paint a picture
- Create a Christmas wreath for your door
- Learn to play an instrument
- Knit a scarf
- Colouring an adult colouring book
Click HERE to read last week’s Wellness Wednesday blog about the importance of friendships.