Whether you like to knit, sew, make your own candles or put together collages, crafting is an activity that can bring great enjoyment. Spending our time in pleasurable ways is paramount for living a happy life and a hobby like crafting can actually be good for mental, emotional and physical health. Here are some ways it accomplishes these things.
We all want to feel like we are achieving something and that does not just have to apply to the big things in life, like our job or getting married and having a family. Anything that provides us a sense of accomplishment fits the bill, even if it is something as small as knitting your own scarf. Crafting involves creating something from nothing and when you complete the task, it is a great feeling to see your finished work.
Finding ways to express our creativity is key to emotional well-being; we can accomplish this in many ways from writing to building something. Crafting is all about creating and it allows us a wonderful outlet to express ourselves, our emotions, beliefs, values and myriad other things that are unique to us.
When we are involved in doing something we love, a sense of relaxation and peace naturally follows. Crafting has been shown to help people relax and studies suggest that repetitive activities such as knitting or sewing may induce a relaxation response in the body that can improve overall well-being. The more relaxed you are, the better your health will be, both mental and physical.
While you might not think of crafting as an activity associated with improving physical parameters of your health, a study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Associationsuggests it may do just that. In the study, women performed five different sets of tasks — including sewing — that required similar hand-eye movements; gauges of stress were measured before and after the activities and included blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature and perspiration levels. Researchers found that the sewing was the most relaxing and resulted in a drop in heart rate, blood pressure and perspiration.
When it comes to giving gifts to other people, crafting offers countless ideas that allow you to make something special and that comes from the heart. It is a nice feeling to know you are making something unique that is meant just for them; people will appreciate these gifts tremendously — making them feel good will make you feel good.
If you want to reap the benefits of crafting, you need to allow yourself the time to do it. Do not feel guilty or view this time spent as indulging in yourself. It is important that we all find time to do the things we love because the more time we spend doing things that make us feel good, the better off we will be physically, emotionally and mentally. Ideally, you should spend at least a little time each day doing your craft, just as you would any other technique for relaxation such as meditation; make a designated spot where you craft so you can always go right to it. Try to enjoy the process and do not obsess too much over being perfect or the finished product.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing information on how to achieve better health through spending your time doing things that make you happy; Follow the link for StuckonYou.com.au personalized labels and other great products for your creative projects.