Are you looking for stress relief? No drugs, no meditation? Have you ever thought about taking up a craft? In fact, doing a craft is a prescription for good health. And more importantly you do not need to be good at the craft to benefit!
Imagine feeling more relaxed. See yourself smiling, pleased with your efforts. All this can be yours – once you start enjoying a hobby.
A craft can be any hand made project that you take pleasure in doing – it could be painting, needle work, knitting, home decoration, wood work. Medical studies have shown that there are physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits from having an active interest in crafting.
One study of 30 female heart patients reported in the American Journal Medical Association showed a significant decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and perspiration rate while the subjects completed a simple craft project.
Hobbies and crafts provide a distraction from the pressures and stresses of everyday life. When you’re engaged in your craft project your mind is concentrating on the project, this stops you thinking about everyday problems.
There is a tremendous feeling of satisfaction when you have completed a craft project. The final piece is all your own work. It is good to have something tangible, something that you can hold and admire.
Another major benefit is that it keeps your brain active – learning is important for keeping your brain “in shape”. The size and structure of the neurons in your brain and the connections between them actually change as you learn.
Crafts are an intellectual activity which helps to keep your brain healthy. You can exercise your brain as you enjoy your craft. A win-win situation!
Many of the finalists in the Learning in Later Life Campaign 2000 to find England’s oldest and most inspiring learners had crafts, especially painting, as their pastimes.
England’s Oldest Learner was Fred Moore who was then aged 107 years. Fred continued with art classes until he died at the age of 109. The manager of his residential home said “Fred was a remarkable chap. He kept his memory, going back to the death of Queen Victoria, and always retained his great sense of humour.”
Painting is an excellent hobby. It can be done both indoors and outdoors. You can paint by yourself or with others in an art group.
So the message is clear – take up a new hobby and keep your brain in shape. It is never too late to start. Local night classes offer a range of options.
Craft your way to a stress-free life!