Why Crafting Is A Great Activity For Your Brain

When the world went into lockdown, many were at a loss about what to do with all their new spare time. Slowly but surely, some started to test crafts and pick up hobbies they'd been itching to try in order to keep their minds busy, per The Guardian. From puzzles to cross-stitch, and knitting to painting, people unleashed their creativity to relieve stress during an uncertain period of time.

Obviously, crafting was around well before the pandemic. But the hectic pace of life often got in the way of the ability for someone to just sit down, focus on one thing, and relax. However, with more time at home, people discovered just how beneficial — and fun — creative activities and crafting can be.

While many countries are starting to open up and return to some sense of normalcy, a lot of people have continued to stick to their new hobbies thanks to the positive benefits they've had on their mental health and overall wellbeing. Keep scrolling to discover just why crafting is a great activity for your brain.

Certain crafting activities can reduce anxiety and relieve stress

According to research published by the University College London's MARCH mental health network in 2020, visual activities like crafting can reduce anxiety and slow the development of diseases like dementia. "Cultural activities encourage gentle movement, reduce social isolation, and lower inflammation and stress hormones such as cortisol," research author Dr. Daisy Fancourt told Crafts Council. "The arts are linked with dopamine release, which encourages cognitive flexibility, and they reduce the risk of dementia."

Even something as simple as filling in an adult coloring book can reduce stress, according to Esther Saggurthi, LCPC, a primary clinician at Maryland House Detox. "When you work on coloring in this pattern, studies have shown your blood pressure and heart rates decrease in an even more significant downward trend," she told Romper.

Crafting can also increase your self esteem after completing certain projects, as it's easier to "fail safely and handle our emotions" in this type of environment, as a 2018 study by the University of Helsinki found. So, even as you return to normal life, continuing the crafting hobbies you began in lockdown can help keep the anxiety and stress at ease, and teach you that failing isn't so scary after all.