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7 unexpected but brilliant ways crafting can make your life better

We all love making things, whether a gorgeous bracelet as a Birthday present for your sister, a model plane to take to the skies or a tiny knitted pair of bootees for your newborn but did you also know about the amazing benefits you are receiving just from stitching, knitting or painting something? From helping with depression and providing pain relief to making you happier, crafting has some seriously unexpected benefits.

  1.  It melts stress and helps alleviate depression

You probably already know this if you’re a crafter but doing any type of craft activity can help you unwind and relax. A sponsored study by Robert Reiner of the New York University psychiatry department found that when his patients took part in sewing activities their heart rate showed they relaxed. Other studies on depression reported that crafting releases dopamine – the hormone that helps you feel good. Professor Kelly Lambert, a former President of the International Behavioural Neuroscience Society, said that partaking in arts and crafts activities “bathes the brain in feel good chemicals” and can in some situations, be just as effective as taking prescription medication.

  1. It makes you happier and more positive

An online study published by the British Journal of Occupational Therapy found that after knitting, a huge 81% of people said they felt happier. Another study found that even just doing one creative thing a day can make you more positive. If you needed any more convincing, researchers at the University of Otago also found that when their test subjects did something creative daily there was a lasting positive trend of wellbeing and creativity in contrast to those who didn’t do anything creative.

  1. Reduces your chances of developing mild cognitive impairment by as much as 50%

Yes you read that right! One study found that creative activities such as craft reduce your chances of suffering from mild cognitive impairment by up to 50%. Another study from France also found that older people who did creative activities such as knitting are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. It can help you cope with pain

Crafting along with music has been found to be very effective at distracting from pain or nausea. This is because the mind is so focused on the pleasurable activity that it temporarily distracts from the pain.

  1. Social benefits

Loneliness is becoming an epidemic in our societies with 10% of older people saying they feel lonely some or most of the time, young people in their teens and twenties are also suffering from loneliness more than ever and an ONS report even found Britain to be the loneliest country in Europe! Craft offers a chance to connect with people over shared interests, whether in a weekly group or sharing knitting mishap stories over a cup of tea with a friend. It is something that everyone can take part in and often doesn’t cost very much to do.

  1. Stops you worrying about your mortality

Yes, if you often worry about your own death then crafting can help. A study found that those people who did more creative activities regularly felt less apprehensive about their own death than those who didn’t.

  1. In the flow – it can transport you into a zen like state

Last but not least – both Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book “Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention” and the psychologist Claudia Hammond say that when people are in the “Flow” of creativity, this state of flow helps time pass by without you noticing meaning your cares and woes are easily forgotten for that period of time and you are focused purely on your task.

So the next time you sew, stitch, felt or knit, you can bask in the knowledge that you are also benefiting from some pretty amazing side-effects.  

By Becky Woolley

Some links to the studies and other articles of interest if you would like to read more:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21677242

http://www.marthastewart.com/1083369/knit-day-keeps-doctor-away-health-benefits-crafting

https://www.cgu.edu/people/mihaly-csikszentmihalyi/

http://www.claudiahammond.com/

http://www.countryliving.com/life/a4926/brain-crafting-benefits/

http://serenityyou.com/2013/01/the-surprising-health-benefits-of-arts-and-crafts-activities-guest-post.html

http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/health-therapeutic

http://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/loneliness-research/

http://www.thesewingdirectory.co.uk/why-sewing-is-so-good-for-us/

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=85&ContentID=p07184

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201612/creativity-and-emotional-well-being-recent-research

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jocb.171/full

 

A bit about Cre8kits

Cre8kits is an independent online shop providing craft kits for easy, time saving and gorgeous creations. For all ages, both individuals and groups.

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