Would you like to relieve everyday stress? You may want to consider getting in touch with the
'craftier side of you." Being more creative can promote a sense of well-being and nourishment by improving self-esteem, promoting positive thoughts, self-expression, and more! Being creative is recognized as a holistic approach in order to target our "feel good" chemicals in the brain.
Hands-on activities such as painting, drawing, gardening, coloring, sculpting, knitting, or crafting - can improve your cognitive function and mood as you create works of art, manifest feelings, and problem solve.
Recent studies and research has proved creativity to address stress, fear, and anxiety. Individuals who have experienced trauma often find artistic expression helps to ward off anger, depression, and shame. Getting in touch with your creative self can also reflect joy, and happiness and positively impact your mental health. Plus, it is super rewarding and exciting to see the finished product which can offer a further release of feel-good brain chemicals.
In fact, in a study of 3,500 + knitters, 81% of the respondents with depression reported feeling happy after using their crafty traits, with more than half of the participants feeling very happy!
Craft has long been used to help with anxiety. Craft courses have been prescribed to patients since the dawn of occupational therapy in the late 19th century, with basketry used to relieve anxiety and physical ailments in soldiers during the first world war. They continue to be used today, with groups such as Combat Stress, the UK charity for veterans’ mental health, offering pottery classes.
Some have even referred to knitting as the “new yoga.” Research shows that knitting and other forms of crafting including sewing, weaving, and crocheting have a lot in common with mindfulness and meditation. They are also reported to have a positive impact on mental health and well-being.
Another study shows how arts-based programming can increase marginalized youth’s participation in the community and that arts-based participatory action research led by migrant youth helps build hope and vision for the future.
Furthermore, experts are finding that being creative may also protect the brain from damage caused by aging. Research has uncovered that even in old age, the brain is a flexible organ continually growing and adapting to new environments. This concept, called neuroplasticity, is promoted in reading, drawing, gardening, and crafting along with other leisurely activities. It has been shown to reduce the chances of mild cognitive impairment development by 30-50%.
Additionally, our overall well-being can benefit from social connections and community interactions. Crafting with others and sharing your ideas and accomplishments is a great way to tap into your intellectual mind. This is also a wonderful way to support what's known as the "para-sympathetic" which is part of the central nervous system. It is responsible for returning our bodies back to homostasis level when we have stress or anxiety. As a reflection of this, lowering the stress hormone "cortisol" is being acheived as well.
Maybe you would like to break free from the mundane and get started on a path to revitalizing your mind, body, and soul through creativity. Maybe even further explore the connection between crafting and health. For any additional support, tools or resources to better manage and combat stress, visit us at BodyInBalanceWellnessLLC.Com
"Our Greatest Wealth is our Health"