February 4, 2015
In a recent Martha Stewart magazine featured the article “This Is Your Brain on Crafts”. Author Lisa Borgnes-Giramont shared how picking up a piece of embroidery and stitching for an hour transformed her frazzled mood into calm, relaxed.
Do you have a hobby that does the same? Knitting, crocheting? Gardening? Puzzles or Sudoku?
Are there magical powers when we create? In a word, yes!
Creating something gets the good vibrations flowing. Gardening has been deemed the purest of human pleasures. During World War I solders were taught to knit to ease their shell shock. Crafting can decrease our heart rate and blood pressure and may even improve sleep.
Crafting helps us solve problems effectively. When the midbrain is engaged by the repetitive movement involved in many crafts, the temporal lobe is unable to focus on worry or stress. This gives our conscious mind a break from solution solving. Flash! The answer comes to us in the midst of our hobby/craft time.
Hobbies bring joy into our lives. Turning the mundane into something pretty or delicious provides a sense of accomplishment. Sharing what we create expands this benefit.
It is not a surprise to know that crafting and hobbies are beneficial to us no matter what our age. That being said, the impact seems to expand as we become older.
At Cedar Creek Senior Living and at most Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, activities are an important part of the daily menu. Jennifer Bruhn, Director of Activities takes pride in providing a varied calendar. “Offering opportunities for friends to gather and be creative can have both physical and emotional benefits.”
This play time can vary from bingo to more creative activities such as polymer clay classes, painting classes and jewelry making. Not only do these hobbies help to improve communication and interpersonal skills they also provide decision making opportunities, and enhance fine motor skills, self expression and endurance.
Sharing thoughts, feelings and opinions can be supported through writing classes.
Increasing confidence and creative self expression often decreases depression.
What is the take away? No matter what our age, participating in our favorite hobby or creative endeavor is…as Martha would say…”A Good Thing”!