Here’s What Crafting Does for Your Brain (and Why You Should Do More)

Here’s What Crafting Does for Your Brain (and Why You Should Do More)

It may not pay you anything, but you’re putting value into your mental and emotional health every time you pick up those scissors.

Knitting, soap-making, leather tooling, it all adds up to the same thing: crafting. It’s fun to do-especially if it’s a hobby, with no price tag on your time. But exactly why do so many people find it rewarding?

Science is now supporting what quilting groups have known on a hunch, for years: it’s great for your brain.

Research has shown that crafting of all kinds can help people who suffer from depression and anxiety. It has to do ‘flow’ and losing yourself in an activity.

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was the first professional to describe this phenomenon that anyone who’s found an activity they love is familiar with.

Related: 5 Unusual Reasons to Play Video Games

In a 2004 TED talk, he described it this way:

“When we are involved in (creativity), we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life. You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”

As a release, crafting can decrease your stress, increase your happiness and actually protect your brain from the damage caused by aging. It can improve various areas of your brain at once, including your memory, focus, visuospatial processing and problem solving abilities.

So, go ahead and grab those knitting needles and release that dopamine. It’s only doing good.

Photo credits: Phovoir/Shutterstock.com

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