Many people like doing crafts in their free time, especially during the holiday season to make gifts for friends and family. However, many don’t know about the benefits of crafts for their brain.
There’s nothing more satisfying than giving something you made with your own two hands, as they say. However, as surprising as it may sound, this statement actually has a scientific basis.
First of all, when we say “crafts,” we’re really just talking about anything you do with your hands. The goal may be personal development, creativity, or just fun.
When it come to kids, the benefits of crafts are endless. Crafts can help make them well-rounded and promote imagination and creativity.
In addition, they also help improve their physical and emotional aptitudes. They require them to use their mind, eyes, and hands to express themselves.
However, for adults and older adults, these activities can become a daily hobby.
Crafts are so good for you!
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Crafts and Your Brain
According to Dr. Sharon Gutman, professor of Occupational Therapy at Colombia University, activities that are associated with neurological function can be put into three categories:
- Those that activate the reward center of the brain. (They liberate dopamine, triggering a sensation of happiness and pleasure).
- Those that preserve cognitive functioning as one ages.
- Activities that promote relaxation.
In addition, Gutman confirms that activities like music, drawing, meditation, reading, arts and crafts, as well as home repairs, can stimulate the nervous system.
Plus, they can even counteract the effects of diseases associated with stress and lower one’s risk of dementia.
Likewise, whenever one participates in activities that spark learning, it’s more probable that the neural networks in the brain are stimulated and strengthened. As a result, the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are lessened.
Plus, it should also be noted that cognitive activities can work to lower stress levels.
In conclusion, crafts have a significant correlation with an overall healthy life.
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Flow and concentration
According to the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi, flow is the secret to happiness.
Flow is the phenomenon that occurs when your nervous system is deeply concentrating on one activity, so much so that time and what you feel all seem to disappear.
The effect is very similar to meditation: it gives peace, tranquility, and clears your inner chaos. Isn’t it incredible?
What knitting does for your brain
An occupational therapist named Betsan Corkhill did a study on the effects of knitting on health in more than 4,545 knitters in the United Kingdom.
The results showed a significant correlation between the frequency at which the participants knitted and their mood: frequent knitters were happier and calmer.
In fact, for many people, the effects of knitting were relaxing and sparked creativity.
What crafts do for your brain
As you can already see, crafts are absolutely incredible for your brain. They:
- Motivate cognitive development.
- Are relaxing and calming.
- Trigger flow. Or in other words, they improve your ability to focus your attention and thoughts on the task in front of you.
- Promote consistency and perseverance.
- Develop coordination between your senses: hand-eye, spatial perception, motor skills.
- Encourage creativity.
- Improve self-esteem and self-image.
- Reduce symptoms of depression.
Yes, we know that knitting can take some work. However, there are many other options out there that you can do in your free time. For example:
- Designing jewelry
- Sewing and embroidery
- And COUNTLESS others!
Now you know how good crafts and working with your hands are for your brain, which one will you choose?