During the Covid-19 pandemic, social media was flooded with images of people making things by hand; quilts, crochet, pottery, paintings and more. It’s no wonder, when crafting is so good for your mental health. But do you know why?
When we complete something, we feel a sense of achievement. This comes from the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is often referred to as the “happy hormone” or the “chemical of reward”.
Crafting is a series of small achievements that lead to a bigger reward, giving a natural mood boost!
Crafting can help us enter what is known as the “flow state”, where we move away from negative thoughts and feelings. This state is commonly used in mindfulness, and helps to regulate breathing and lower blood pressure.
By focusing on one thing, a craft, we allow our brains to slow down and calm the thrum of everyday life.
When we’re feeling down, time alone can feel daunting, with thoughts swimming around our minds. Crafting grants much needed alone time, and gives the mind something to focus on.
A few moments of quiet allows the mind to reset and recover.
It Stimulates the Senses
Crafting involves bright colours and interesting textures. Stimulating the senses can help connect us to our surroundings and feel grounded. A study found that just one hour of grounding can reduce anxiety and improve your mood!
It Encourages Social Connection
Crafting with someone else can really boost our mood. It is also shown to help forge connections with those around us. Where social prescribing has involved crafting, it has been quoted by participants as being “life saving”. Arts involvement is also particularly important in forming a sense of community in young people.
Whether it’s a small project or something that may take months, a solo effort or a social one, crafting has numerous benefits for our mental health. Reduced anxiety, social connection, rewarding alone time, we could go on. Why not dedicate some time today to busying your fingers and calming your mind?