Crafting is Good For You!

blogpost_mentalhealth.pngDid you see the recent article about how handcrafting is good for your mental health? According to researcher Betsan Corkhill, activities such as knitting can have an effect on the brain similar to meditation, offering “significant psychological and social benefits, which can contribute to well-being and quality of life.”

Being creative, whether via sewing, knitting, gardening, cooking, or other activities, can increase dopamine levels in the brain, leading to an increased sense of well-being. Another recent study cited by CNN shared that crafting can help relieve the suffering of those facing depression, chronic pain, and anxiety.

I’ll be honest: although I sew and create for many reasons, one of them is that it helps me tremendously to deal with a tendency towards anxiety. My husband struggles from similar issues and we’ve recently been talking about whether he could try knitting as a way to just quiet his brain and focus on being more present in the moment. I know when I am sewing the binding on a quilt, planning a new makeup bag, or creating a beautiful grouping of plants in the garden I feel calmer, quieter, and more focused. My monkey brain, as the saying go, shuts up for a while and gives me some peace. I suspect many people feel this way!

Want to learn more? Here are some great articles around the web you can take a look at:

Happiness is Handmade

Hello! Welcome to Happier Handmade. I chose the title of this blog because it sums up my whole philosophy of being here – I find crafting and DIY to be a highly calming, soothing, happiness-enhancing activity in a modern world that often seems completely out of control. There’s something about working with your hands to make something –whether it’s a quilt, a garden, a wood-burned sign, a scarf, what have you — to be almost meditative, a way of centering and remembering what matters in life.

Not a crafter yourself? I also find that owning and using goods that are handcrafted by an artisan to just feel good. I love knowing that someone made the item I’m holding, that they held it and lovingly worked on each detail and then sent it out into the world. Of course no one’s home goods are completely handmade in this day and age, but having a tea towel here, a hand-poured candle there, and a few pieces of great accessories made by a small business owner can make your home feel just a little more … well, homey.

I plan to use this blog to focus on all aspects of crafting. I will share highlights of the finds I publish on my Instagram account (which you can see here at @happierhandmade), and I’ll also share thoughts and collections of info from around the Web about making crafts, marketing your crafts, using social media, and experimenting with DIY projects. I hope you’ll join me in this world of exploration.