According to some experts, crafting can help diminish the symptoms and improve the moods of people who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, along with easing stressing and increasing happiness.
Recently, CNN told the story of a woman who lost her brother in a tragic accident and suffered post-traumatic stress as a result. Her path back to a normal life was difficult, but through picking up knitting, she was able to help ease her stress and calm her mind, helping her move past and through the terrible strain that her brother’s death had cause.
There is more and more research being done on the benefits of crafting, beyond the many anecdotal stories. In many ways, crafting and creating art can have similar effects to meditation. Taking on a project can force the subject to focus on a new task, concentrating their energy on something positive. Since a number of crafts include repetitive motion, that can sometimes sooth people thanks to a steady rhythm of activity.
Crafting can also activate the reward center in our brains as projects advance along or reach completion, releasing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. When people do something that feels rewarding, they get a happy feeling, in part caused by this natural neurotransmitter. The chemical is believed to have evolved to help encourage humans to repeat activities that promote survival, but over time has evolved to include other activities as well. For some people, that includes crafting.
Having an artistic hobby or intellectually challenging activity as part of your life can also improve brain function later in life. New studied cited in the CNN article seem to indicate that mentally engaging activities can prevent atrophy of the brain and even delay the onset of dementia by a significant time. In fact, a recent clinical trial seems to show that reasoning and processing speed in the brain can show a marked improvement for as long as a decade after finishing training in a new skill or art form.
Crating takes shape in many forms. If you are interested in taking on a new activity or learning a new skill, Hunakai Studio of Fine Art can help you along your way. While it may be daunting to try something new, we offer a number of classes to help people learn new skills in a fun, social setting.
One of the most creative class options this summer is Recycled Sculptures, where students will bring in items from home or thrown out items and give them new life as unique sculptures. It’s a fun way to relieve stress and turn your mind to something positive, bringing something unwanted or broken back to life in a creative new light.
Hunakai Studio of Fine Art also has a number of other classes this summer, as well, if you’re looking for something different, like drawing or computer animation. To learn more about our classes or to sign up for one of our summer sessions, call the studio today at 508-543-5665.