As you might already know, I am a (not-so-secret) knitting enthusiast. I renewed my love of all things wooly around 7 years ago, when I decided to start knitting Christmas jumpers for my friends.
At that time, it was just a nice hobby, and one I also did a lot of when I was pregnant and then continued when I had a new baby at home. But I didn’t think any more of it.
However, I have recently seen research online that extolls the benefits of crafts on our health.
So I’ve gone through the info and picked the top 5 health benefits you can expect to achieve from getting crafty:
- Crafts like knitting are being linked to the study of neuroscience and our state of mind
Believe it or not, there has been a book published on the power of knitting on our health and wellness. Knit for Health & Wellness lists an extraordinary amount of benefits to be garnered from knocking needles, including:
- The secret power of your hand movements and their influence on your brain
- How knitting naturally brings about a state of mind that doctors the world over are eager to encourage
- How knitting can be used as a tool to help anyone, including those with complex health conditions
- How knitting helps to erase your social concerns to build strong support networks and communities
- How knitting can help you beat loneliness to feel belonged, enjoy fun and laughter and easy banter
- How Therapeutic Knitting can kick start a healing process.
- Crafts can make us “Zen”
According to an article in Country Living…
“… neuroscientists are beginning to see how studies on cognitive activities like crossword puzzles could also apply to complex quilting patterns. And other experts are touting the mental health benefits of the zen-like state that can be reached while painting or sewing.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said this during a TED talk in 2004: “When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.
You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.” Furthermore, recent studies show that activities like crafting could reduce your chances of developing mild cognitive impairment by as much as 50 percent.”
- Crafts can be beneficial for child development
Most crafts can support in many of our children’s developmental stages – and depending on the craft, it can help in areas such as bilateral coordination, fine motor coordination, self-regulation, and boost self-esteem.
Have a look here for more details.
- Crafting can alleviate depression
According to craftcourses.com, “the instant gratification nature of the modern world is thought to be one of the leading causes of depression. With the rise of convenience culture we rarely have to wait for anything and our reward systems are distorted because little work has to go into achieving even the most basic things. In this way, areas of the brain become neglected and those chemical imbalances can be thought to cause or worsen depression.
While we are concentrating on crafting our brains emit a feel good hormone – dopamine.
This promotes a calming, positive sense of wellbeing throughout the body and is a natural mood enhancer. Alongside physical exercise (which releases a similar chemical called serotonin) this sort of brain activity is a good way to naturally improve the symptoms of depression.”
- Crafting can reduce stress
Often at times of stress or anxiety in our lives, we find it very difficult to focus on our daily lives and lift ourselves out of the dark thoughts and mood we are in.
Although not a cure, participating in crafts can certainly help reduce these feelings of stress by diverting our focus from our anxieties,
giving us confidence in our abilities, offering us a sense of control and mastery over a small area of our lives. It can also offer us another avenue in which to get socially involved with a group with common interests, and can also be a mindful and meditative process. For details on each of these points, have a look here.
Now you have no excuses not to dig out those old knitting needles, fabric scraps or scrapbooking bits’n’bobs.
And remember to check out Pinterest for some inspiration.
Here’s a list of activities that might whet your appetite if you’re not already a keen crafter:
Cake decorating Writing
Staining glass Leather work
Felting Furniture upcycling
Painting Jewelry making
Sketching Picture framing
Lampshading Home décor
Card making Printing
Flower arranging Candle making
If you’d like to join our next Transformation Toolkit and learn how to improve your health & fitness, then complete this application form to arrange a call today. Places are limited so don’t delay 😉