First, I would like to say that I am no doctor, I’m just going to talk to you about my experiences and as Mental Health has been a huge topic in the media recently I thought it would be a great area to chat about.
I have suffered with anxiety myself from a young age and at different times in my life I have found it easier to manage than at other times. One thing that always made me feel calm was doing something creative; from drawing to sewing to making birthday cards for friends and family. Have you ever sat down and painted your nails and then as if by magic you feel less stressed?
I used to gage my level of peacefulness with the state of my nails! Newly painted nails; I felt calm because I had allowed myself to do something relaxing. Chipped or no paint meant I needed to take some time out and have some ‘me time’.
When in school I noticed that our art classes were so much more relaxed than say our science class. OK so most people find creative subjects much more enjoyable than the serious subjects such as maths, science and history, however it was more than that.
When crafting people tended to open up and chat about things they wouldn’t usually talk about and to people they wouldn’t normally talk to.
It was kind of like a scene where a group of people get stuck in a lift together and inevitably start up a conversation which they wouldn’t otherwise have, with people they wouldn’t usually talk to. Then the moment the doors open, everyone pretends like it didn’t happen and go their separate ways and even if they were ever to meet again, they would be total strangers.
I often wondered why this happened but never really thought too much into it… until now of course.
I have also observed this behaviour of calmness and a willingness to open up in primary school children when doing crafts. They don’t have to use their brains in the same way as they would if they were writing an essay or doing maths. They start to talk, chat, laugh.
Take a look at one of my previous blogs; ‘Why Choose a Toddler Craft Class?’ for more benefits of crafting with children.
I think for a lot of people crafting or doing something creative is a way to escape every day life and can also be used to focus your mind on something positive, because you’re making something. It also doesn’t matter if you’re not the most talented person when it comes to crafting or that your finished piece doesn’t look how you imagined it would before you started. The whole process of crafting is a type of therapy and gives people a sense of achievement.
So, can crafting help with anxiety? Yes, I truly believe that it does.
So whether you engage in some mindfulness colouring, crafting with the kids or join an amateur crafting group, I really believe that there are benefits to getting creative and hence releasing some of your stress and anxiety.
As always let me know what you think.