The Benefits of Sewing and Crafting For Mental Health

By ANNABELLE SHORT

Sewing and crafting can be fun pastimes. Even more than that, they can be useful as well! After all, when you finish sewing a project or crafting something, you have a knick-knack for your house, a new dress to wear, or anything that you can think of creating.

However, the benefits of sewing and crafting don’t stop there. In addition, there are a variety of benefits to your mental health when you take time to sew or craft as well. Today, we are going to take a look at some of these benefits.

Take Some Time to Yourself

The first benefit we will look at isn’t exactly specific to crafting or sewing. Instead, it is simply the idea that you can benefit from taking some time to yourself. During this time to yourself, though, you can take the time to sew or craft to also access the other benefits we will discuss here.

Taking the time to do something for and by yourself can help you relax. We live in a busy world and it can be easy to devote every waking moment to working or studying. By taking the time to sew or craft, though, you are relaxing and you don’t feel guilty about it because you can make something you end up using.

It can also help to take your mind off things in a stressful situation. After all, giving yourself a little “me” time isn’t limited to everyday stress. In fact, having a distraction during particularly stressful situations can help to ground you and take a break from constant anxiety, stress, or even depression.

Confidence and Crafting

Another thing that crafting and sewing can help is your confidence and self-esteem. Remember how we mentioned that you wouldn’t feel guilty crafting or sewing because you are creating something that is important to you?

Well, this can also help you with your confidence as well! When you feel like you’re accomplishing something and providing something for yourself or someone else, you are more confident. It’s the same concept that gives you a boost of self-esteem when you successfully complete a big job at work, for example.

Crafting Can Make You Feel Happy

So, we know that crafting and sewing can help you to reduce some of the stress in your life, improving your mental health. In addition, though, crafting can also make you happy, not just reduce unhappiness.

For instance, a survey of 3,545 knitters was taken by a knitting therapist, Betsan Corkhill. In this survey, knitters were asked questions about how they felt while they were knitting. Responding to the survey, over half of the survey takers said that knitting made them feel “very happy.”

Crafting, sewing or woodworking help you reduce negative emotions and stress by allowing you to create unique pieces of art. For example, woodworking is one of the most effective form of art therapy in the world, because it combines strategies for planning, , getting the supplies, planning your cut list, measuring, cutting, painting.

The reasoning given behind this is that crafting can release serotonin and dopamine – chemicals in your brain that relax you and make you happier. The more repetitive your craft is the better! A part of what is hypothesized to cause this chemical release is getting lost in the repetitive movements of a craft. This means that crafts such as knitting or sewing are more likely to see these results.

Bright Colors and Different Materials Help

The same therapist who did the knitting survey, Betsan Corkhill, also says that using bright colors when you craft can help your mood.

There is actually some science to this claim. Certain colors do, in fact, evoke certain moods for some people. This is why you might feel more anxious in a harshly coloured room or feel calm when surrounded by blue. Historically, color therapy – chromology – has been used to improve moods. Today, we often see this in the form of light therapy.

This has to do with a few different ideas. One of the main concepts is that certain colors are associated with certain things – such as warm colors being associated with fall.

Today’s research is less optimistic about the long-term effects of color. It is generally accepted, though, that certain colors can have a great, short-term effect on mood, though.

The great thing about crafting is that it’s multi-sensory too. For instance, if you are sewing with super soft materials, you might find this to be calming just as you would wrapping up in a soft, fuzzy throw blanket.

Learning Something New Is Good for You

If you are new to crafting and sewing or even just improving your skills by learning a new pattern, you will benefit from it. Crafting and sewing give you a chance to learn and learning does wonderful things for your brain.

To get scientific, when you learn something, your brain forms new synapses between neurons. In layman’s terms, this keeps your mind flexible and ready to learn. This can help ward off problems with learning as you age such as dementia.

For more information on CPTSD and other issues visit our YouTube Channel

If you need support or would like to connect with like-minded people join our Private and Closed online Facebook Group for Child Abuse Survivors and those with CPTSD. Click here to join

2 comments

  1. crafting is my go to. I am currently working on a latch hook rug that is huge, so it is going to keep me busy for awhile. At first when people were talking about crafting as a good self help tool, I thought it was hogwash. Until I actually did it. I initially thought my mind would keep thinking about things over and over, not really helping my mental health. I learned it is the opposite though. I find my mind focuses on the task at hand and it actually quiets the noise in my head. Some days I don’t have the strength to do anything. but on really noisy head days I try to make it a point to do something with my hands to help calm down my noisy head.

    • That’s fantastic that it helps you. I find dot painting (Aboriginal dot painting) works for me. I find it totally absorbing. I learned in Art Therapy while in a Mental Health Clinic and it’s my ‘go to’ to quieten my mind. Thanks for commenting. Great to hear from you. All the best and good luck with your rug. All the best Erin.

I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment. All feedback is much appreciated. Thank you. Erin