How to Choose a Craft to Relax and Relief Stress

Mindful Practices of Crafting to Relief Stress

We all know that life can be become stressful at times. Mindful exercises such as Yoga and meditation can help relief stress and have a positive impact on your well-being and overall health. Unfortunately, learning yoga or meditation can be difficult and does take time. Luckily, science has caught on that many forms of crafting have similar benefits as a side effect!

And sure enough, when I do feel down or stressed, I tend to pick up my crochet needle and start hooking along. The repetitive nature of the pattern lets me enter a state of “flow”. Concentrating on the pattern keeps my mind occupied and completely focused on the task at hand.

Betsan Corkhill, a UK-based knitting therapist who has done research on the therapeutic effects of knitting through an online survey of more than 3,545 knitters and concluded that  more than half of respondents were feeling “very happy” while knitting.

http://www.knitforhealthandwellness.comIn her book: Knit for Health & Wellness, she explains:

“ These benefits go deep with physiological, neurological, psychological, behavioral and social changes occurring. Knowing this can enable you to use your craft as a tool to deliberately improve your well being.”

Benefits of crafting

  • Hand Eye coordination

Using your hand frequently for crafting keeps them nimble. This is especially helpful for the older generation so that joints do not stiffen up.

  • Gives focus

Concentrating on the task at hand can block all worries out of your mind. This will give your body some time to recuperate and might help solve problems quicker later on.

  • Repetition

Repetitive crafts such as knitting or crochet are especially effective. They are a type of meditation.

  • Sense of accomplishment

At the end of each project, you have a completed piece of art or craft that can be admired. So with each piece, there is a sense of accomplishment that can’t be reached with yoga or meditation.

  • Relaxation

When you are crafting, you consciously decide to do something for yourself. You take the time away from a busy schedule to work on something entirely different. This can be in a group or with your children, but taking  the time to craft, does relax the body and the mind.

  • Creative outlet

The fun about crafting is that there are so many different styles to choose from. Try as many or as little as you like. There is something to suit everyone!

Types of crafts

Here are some ideas for crafting on the fly to consider. All of them are perfect for taking on the road and can have great meditative and stress relieving benefits:

  • Knitting
  • Crochet
  • Coloring
  • Sketching in a journal
  • Mandala Painting
  • Cross stitch
  • Embroidery
  • Needlepoint
  • Paper crafts
  • Punch needle
  • Beading
  • Macrame

I personally tried out all these crafts on the road and they are easy to carry along. Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive. Let me know what other crafts to add!

What to consider when selecting a craft and decide what type of craft is good for you

  • Materials needed

  • Cost

  • Ease of doing

  • Ease of taking on the road

Best surroundings for crafting to relax

The receive the full meditative benefits of crafting, it has to be in an environment that is not stressful but calm and relaxing for you. This could be your favorite sop in the house, near the window or as far as the beach under a palm tree.

Although the environment plays a role in the therapeutic effects of crafting, it is also important to just do it instead of waiting for the ideal time and location.

“That is why I am proposing the idea of crafting on the fly!”

As a busy Mom, there are few times to find your perfect spot by the window or even 30 minutes to just have peace and quiet. So in that case, you have to go with the flow and take a few moment here and there to focus on your craft and relax that way.

I have tremendously benefited from crocheting in the waiting room of my kids gym class. What a glorious hour of just crochet each week which I otherwise would have spent arguing with myself what I could have done in this hour if I didn’t need to waste it sitting there!

So think about your schedule and how you can sneak in a little crafting here and there. Your mind will thank you.

 

Summary

My go to craft for relaxation is crochet. I love the textile element and the fact that I can take it along. No more aimlessly sitting in a waiting room. I always have a crochet project in my purse. The repetition of each row is so relaxing that I often wish I could stay longer!

But whichever craft you choose, it all depends on your needs. Is it something you want to do on the go or in a quiet nook at home. When starting out, it might be best to try something like intricate coloring books or paint by numbers. The main goal is that it brings you joy and keeps your brain focused to take a break from every stress.

Have you found your craft that is like meditation for you? Let me know in the comments what your experience has been. I’d love to know.

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