I’ve always been fascinated by handcrafting! I never thought I’ve got what it takes to be a crafter, until that time when I was in a very dark place in my life. I was suffering from major depression and anxiety, so I started practicing some knitting and sewing out of curiosity. Maybe I was trying to get myself busy, but I found out that it was more than just a hobby. In fact, it turned out to be my unintentional therapy.
I started losing myself in the learning process and in the details that followed. I got distracted from my trauma. Crafting showed me a new meaning of life while I was surviving mental illness. Now, I own a startup business in crafting. I really believe crafting saved my life!
The thing about crafting is that it gets you immersed in activities like planning, learning and advancing, but it’s not only about the thrill of the making process. It also eases the pain, distracts the mind and soothes the soul. It keeps the hands, heart and mind busy; and sometimes I think it’s the only thing that keeps me sane.
Harvard psychologist and painter; Ellen Langer, has another theory about why handicrafts are so gratifying. She suggests that “they promote a fine-grained, joyful observing that is hard to come by when life flies by at its usual breakneck clip.” She adds that “almost any creative activity presents an opportunity to realize how much you’ve never noticed, which leads to more engagement, which leads to better health and well-being.”
So if you don’t know how crafting can benefit you, here are some hints…
It shapes and strengthens personality
When you start doing a project you lose yourself in the details. You feel part of something larger, and that really helps with concentration. Crafting also teaches you to appreciate the value of things. In order to get perfect results, you need to be patient and give it time and practice. The sense of progress and pride you get when you compare your first painting to what you’ve produced after some practice is sure to give a boost to your self-worth. That’s why it’s very important to encourage kids early in life to do crafting.
Weaving and crocheting have a lot in common with mindfulness and meditation. They are also reported to have a positive impact on mind health and well-being.
It provides an affordable therapy
Experts swear by the therapeutic potential of habitual crafting! It is used quite often as a systematic healing method, especially for children and seniors. They believe it can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain. It eases stress, increases happiness and protects the brain from age-caused damage.
In her book Crochet Saved My Life; Kathryn Vercillo wrote about how she was this close to committing suicide, only she replaced the blade in her hand with a crochet hook.
Almost all knitters (myself included) describe a sense of calmness and satisfaction that put them in a solid mental state. They feel calmer, happier, less anxious and more confident. So if you want a good night sleep, try taking up knitting.