How Can Hobbies Like Art And Craft Creation Help Battle Stress?
It’s official - doing something you love in your free time can help decrease stress. This is great news for people the world over, since it is well known that chronic stress contributes to everything from heart disease to obesity. If your (or your child’s) hobby is centered on the fine arts, take note - you are certainly not alone. The interest in arts and crafts has increased by 45% in America in recent years, according to the Association for Creative Industries. Read on to find out why when you engage in arts and crafts, you also do wonders for your mental health and well-being.
Your Instinct Knows Best
Whether you have just started giving into your creative side at arts and craft classes or you have been a big fan of this activity for years, you probably find creating to be a wonderful escape; something that is as soothing to body and soul as it is entertaining. Some creators find that they can easily enter ‘the zone’ when they are working on a new piece; they can get ‘lost in the moment.’ All these sensations are sending a powerful message: art and craft creation is beneficial to your health.
Arts And Crafts Are Natural Stress Busters
A study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy has found that activities like knitting and other crafts can have tangible benefits on stress reduction. The study, undertaken on 3,500 knitters, found that there was a vital link between the frequency of knitting and the knitters’ sense of calm. Researchers found that this activity was ‘soothing and restful’ and that it has powerful meditative effects. The majority of knitters said their favorite hobby helped them battle stress. Those with anxiety felt that it was a vital aid for keeping symptoms of their condition at bay.
Arts And Crafts As Part Of A Multifaceted Strategy Against Stress
As stress hormone levels subside, it can be easier to sleep. Anxiety and sleep are intricately related. The more anxious you are, the harder it can be to sleep. It works the other way around as well, since sleepless nights can exacerbate anxiety. Hobbies like knitting, painting, drawing and craftsmanship can be utilized alongside other activities - including meditation, yoga, and spending time in nature - all of which can help improve your sleep quality and quantity. Next time you’re feeling artistic, why not undertake your hobby into a beautiful green area? Simply being outdoors for 20 minutes has been shown to be a powerful stress buster.
Beginners Benefit Too
You don’t have to be a Picasso or a Dali for art to improve stress in a major way. A study undertaken at Drexel University showed that regardless of your skill level, taking time to produce art reduces your stress hormone levels. Researchers stated that they expected that their findings would show that art was more beneficial when experts were taking part in it; in fact, they concluded that “Everyone is creative and can be expressive in the visual arts when working in a supportive setting.”
Art and crafts are choice activities in many settings in which stress is an issue - including rehabilitation centers for people battling substance abuse. This is because many studies have shown that creativity helps create a state of calm. Creative hobbies are also wonderfully entertaining, and they provide a chance to meet other people who share the same passion.