If you’re like most people, you don’t start quilting, sewing, knitting, or doing other creative activities for wellness benefits. You’re interested for the more obvious reasons: it’s a creative outlet, and maybe a social one too. But once you start doing it more regularly, you may realize that it’s more than just fun, it’s downright good for you!
So what are these unexpected health benefits?
Your creative work can be a healthy distraction from negative thoughts and everyday stressors. Many find that the single-minded focus that their work demands helps them unplug and unwind. Also, research shows that measured, repetitive motions like those used in activities like quilting or knitting release serotonin, which is why artists often report feeling calm and relaxed effects from their work.
Once you’re in a calm headspace, it’s easier to stay present and focus. When you’re focused on the rhythmic movements associated with many creative activities, like quilting or beadwork, you can achieve a zen-like focus, similar to the effects you feel from yoga. This meditative state is therapeutic because it encourages clear thinking, which can soothe worry and control anxiety. Not only that, but it can increase your self-awareness and attention span.
Regardless of your artistic focus, there are others that share your interest. It’s beneficial to your health to socialize, so why not do it with a community of people that share your artistic passion? In an online study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, over 3,500 knitters reported an elevated mood after knitting, but doing so in a group significantly impacted their perceived happiness. After all, there’s a reason why Facebook groups like Quilting – Perfectly Imperfect and Quilting and Sewing Enthusiasts! have over 120,000 combined members!
Engaging in brain-stimulating activities is important, especially as you age. It can help reduce the risk of cognitive impairment, keep your mind sharp and help with memory. In a study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, a group of elderly adults discussed their activities from the previous year. Those who engaged in activities such as quilting or knitting had a lower risk of mild cognitive impairment, similar to those who spent time playing cognitive games or reading books.
Whether you realize it or not, feelings of productivity, pride, and achievement are natural stimulants. When you master a new skill or technique or finish a project, you stimulate the reward center in your brain, which releases dopamine. Dopamine acts as a natural antidepressant and leaves you with feelings of euphoria and excitement.
Despite these amazing mental health benefits, sitting for extended periods of time can take a toll on your physical health. Many artists must put their creative work aside due to physical discomforts, such as eye strain or back and neck pain. CraftOptics magnification and shadowless DreamBeam light helps artists not only see the finer details of their work, but also create in comfort. But don’t take our word for it. Check out what artists from all over the world have to say about their CraftOptics.