The Benefits of Crafting, and DIYing for better Mental Health

The Benefits of Crafting, and DIYing for better Mental Health

In 2020, the World Health Organization said that at least 260 million individuals suffered from depression. As one of the world's leading causes of disability, depressionplays a significant role in the global burden of diseases

Medication and therapy are two of the most effective ways to treat depression. However, for many, those treatments not very accessible and the costs can be intimidating. So how do we alleviate mental illness and promote mental well-being? solution that is fun, engaging, and recommended by many therapists is crafting. Here is the science behind the some of thepractical ways that arts and crafts can help promote better mental health:

Lowers Stress Hormones

According to research, people who suffer from depression have reduced serotonin levels in their brains and increased cortisol in their bloodstream. Increased cortisol can not only cause depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses but it may also lead to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. 

Arts and crafts have shown to help relieve depression and anxiety by helping the body release serotonin, a natural antidepressant. Many have reported experiencing reduced stress through the meditation that occurs when practicingcrafts such as wreath making and floral designing. The science is that the repetitive and rhythmic motions performed while working on these crafts help release serotonin.  Seratonin is a neurotransmitter that isassociated with calmness and well-being, resulting in a sensation of relaxation and peace. 

Another angle that this can be viewed from is that when you are deep in thought while crafting, you are led to a state of mindfulness—a state where you are focused in the moment.  During those moments you aren’t dwelling on worries such as bills, loans, doubts, and insecurities. You are in the zone and at peace. That is also why crafting is a great way to manage self-destructive thoughts

This means that not only can you help prevent low moods caused by stress, but you can also extend your patience by feeling less irritable and restless. So instead of sulking in your worries you can find something you really enjoy doing and avoid feeling bored, frustrated, or grumpy. It's a mood booster! 

Help with Grief and Loss

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of crafting is that itcan help anyone dealing with grief. Loss is perhaps one of the heaviest things that can be dealt to a person. It's often difficult to process and can take years before it's entirely accepted into the system. People in grief can feel pain as though it is a physical affliction and can quickly lose track of time as they wallow in sorrow and misery. 

However, individuals can engage in arts and crafts tolowering stress hormones and stay calm and relaxed. This decreases low moods and can contribute to feeling better. It does not change the extent of loss, but it does help cope and focus. In many ways, the different colors and textures of the materials involved in arts and crafts can engage the senses and distract individuals from feelings of sadness and misery. It can provide a window for a better overall disposition. 

Treats Insomnia

Lower stress hormone levels allow you to sleep better. In other words, playing with ribbon and flowers can help you deal with insomnia. Insomnia is a terrible psychological condition that causes sufferers difficulty in falling or staying asleep. Acute insomnia can range from 1 night to a few weeks, while chronic insomnia can stretch from a couple of nights a week to 3 months or more. 

What makes insomnia challenging to deal with is that its effects can affect sufferers during the day and beyond. For example, it can make them sleepy during the day when they're supposed to be active, working, or studying. This could also cause fatigue and, as a result, make people irritable and restless.. And last but not least, the lack of sleep puts a toll on memory and concentration. 

So how does making beautiful wreaths and floralarrangements help with insomnia? It all comes back to hormones. With increased serotonin levels, sufferers become more relaxed. They feel better about their own self and their surroundings. Therefore they are more relaxed and at peace, which helps them sleep better. In other words, arts and crafts can be a solution for to stress-induced insomnia. ???

 With the right amount of sleep comes a better balance of hormones in the body. 

 Cultivate community and friendships

Isolation and loneliness are not only harmful to your mental health, but they can also cause dangers to your body. Research shows that they are related to various diseases and conditions such as poor cardiovascular health and lowered cognitive function which provide higher chances of developing diabetes, heart conditions, and Alzheimer's disease. 

 Fortunately, one way you make friends and connect with people is by joining groups and communities in your favorite hobby. With the opportunity to interact and socialize, there are fewer chances of feeling isolated. And this doesn't only help with your relationship with others, but again, it all ties down to a good balance of hormones in the body. Socializing with others can boost the production of a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin reduces stress levels and has anti-stress-like effects. It reduces high blood pressure and cortisol levels while simultaneously increases pain thresholds. Its main benefit is that it increases positive social interaction, the answer to isolation and loneliness. 

 Crafting and DIYing have brought people together more than you can imagine. For example, just look at the wreath making community. (if you are familiar with it) There are so many fun and interactive wreath making groups, classes, events, wreath makers live, and many other types of education that focus on wreath making and floral designing. And don’t worry if your favorite hobby is something other than wreath making. There is no shortage of groups and communities from all different niches that tie individuals together in the same activities and similar interests. These groups and communities contribute to feelings of being understood, accepted, supported, and belongingness. They help individuals process their emotions more efficiently by providing a safe and encouraging environment. As a result people become more sociable, which in turn allows them the opportunity to develop deep and meaningful relationships. 

In conclusion, finding a hobby such as crafting, wreath making, and floral design can really be a great tool to start improving anyone’s mental health. The research we have read affirms this across all boards and has been extremely helpful in pinpointing how people can overcome mental health struggles by simply finding a new hobby they love.  

 Please know we only offer you this information as a suggestion. We are by no means giving medical advice and always recommend seeking medical help when going through sadness, tough times, and depression. I personally have been in a very tough place with depression and it’s not to be taken lightly. Without medical help and therapy from an amazing therapist, I’m not sure what would have happened. Finding a hobby I loved was actually one of her first suggestions to me.  That suggestion of finding a hobby has led us to find many wonderful friends, enjoying an uplifting community of people, taking classes that give us more confidence, and hopefully helping others in the process. There are so many reasons that mymaking a few wreaths for my family's doors 5 years ago changed my life. Hopefully my suggesting that you find a hobby you truly enjoy will also put a positive influence on yours.