A World of Creativity

Taking up a craft to Boost Your Mental Health

Taking up a craft can really change your life. Not only can it make you more inventive, and productive, it can also give you several health benefits.

Taking up a craft has been proved to aid those suffering from anxiety and the after-effects of trauma.

A craft demands focus and because of this it helps you to break any negative thought-cycles. In many cases it helps people to heal and get over their anxieties.

If you are suffering from anxiety you are probably plagued by repetitive and intrusive thought-patterns. Focusing on these thoughts only drives them deeper into your subconscious mind. Learning a new craft helps you to concentrate on things other than these intrusive thoughts.

A craft such as knitting or crochetting gives you the space for relaxed concentration. It retrains your brain to work in a non-anxious cycle. In fact, it actually helps to re-program your brain when you concentrate on things other than your anxieties.

Taking up a craftCrafts such as knitting, crochetting or quilting can put you into a relaxed state of mind similar to meditation. Psychoanalysts like Carrie Barron have sung the praises of crafting in general and knitting in particular, comparing them to long-acknowledged calming practices such as yoga and zen meditation.

A sense of self-worth is immensely important to your sense of well-being. Few people can maintain good mental health if they cannot respect themselves.

Taking up a craft can teach you surprising things about yourself. It takes the power of determining your self-worth away from the judgment of others, and gives it back to you. If you create something of which you can be proud, it increases your self-esteem and feeling of self-worth.

It is well-known that art therapy helps people to regain their sense of self-worth. Occupational therapists who teach people certain crafts in treatment centres say that this type of therapy has brought about some amazing results.

The idea of art as therapy is nothing new, but it’s becoming more and more relevant because of the stresses of our daily lives.

Importantly, the process of creating seems to impart a feeling of power and control. When you are working at a particular craft you decide on the medium, the actual form it will take and the outcome. You can change the format at will, and you alone will be responsible for the finished article.

This freedom is immensely empowering. It gives you the mental space and opportunity to focus on something you enjoy doing and in the process it helps you to beat your personal demons.

Article by guest writer, Helen McAndrew

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