Crafting is not just for kids and grandparents – as a creative outlet, crafting also has numerous benefits for adults.
Research shows that engaging in creative and mindful activities, such as making crafts, can help reduce stress, enhance mood, and even improve self-confidence.
If you're looking for ways to manage your anxiety and reduce stress, definitely give arts and crafts a try. Engaging in creative, hands-on activities, such as the ones we discuss below, is a great way to release challenging emotions in a creative manner and improve your mental health and wellbeing.
1. Painting and Drawing
If you're a complete beginner to arts and crafts, you might want to start with painting and drawing. You don't need any special, expensive equipment to begin – all you need are paper, pencils, watercolors, or acrylics, and you're good to go!
The idea is to simply express yourself creatively and experiment, so you can start with simple shapes and drawings; really, anything that comes to mind!
This isn’t to say that seasoned artists won't reap benefits from painting and drawing! The more you paint or draw, the more mental health benefits you can reap – one study showed that expression through art, particularly painting, can be beneficial for multiple mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
2. Knitting and Crocheting
Knitting and crocheting may be traditionally linked to grandmas, but they’re wonderful craft activities for all adults, as they can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
The repetitive movements of knitting are often compared to meditation because they can help focus your mind on the activity and reduce the racing thoughts that often come with anxiety.
Research also shows that knitting may even reduce chronic pain. As a bonus, you get to create beautiful scarves, blankets, coasters, and more!
3. Designing Photo Books
If you love photography or have lots of dear family photos you'd like to preserve, you might enjoy designing your own photo books.
Crafting a photo book can be a therapeutic experience – as you curate your favourite photos and relieve special moments of your life, you can tap into your creative side and improve your mood by focusing on happy memories and the people and experiences that have shaped it.
In this digital age, many online platforms offer photo designing services, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Designing a photo book can be a deeply meaningful activity that allows you to express your creativity while focusing on the good things in life.
4. Adult Colouring Books
Remember how you used to colour as a kid?
Now might be the time to revisit that activity. Adult coloring books have intricate designs that make you focus on staying inside the lines, helping you reduce racing thoughts.
In fact, research shows that adult coloring can reduce anxiety and depression, especially if you choose coloring books with mandalas.
There’s also some research suggesting that certain colours, like green and blue, may help reduce stress.
Here are two free adult colouring books you can download today:
5. Pottery and Ceramics
Working with clay may be messy, but it's a fantastic way to express your creativity and relieve stress at the same time.
Pottery and ceramics let you mold and shape clay into functional or decorative pieces, a process that can improve focus, reduce tension, and boost self-confidence.
Pottery is both a practical and meditative craft that connects you with your senses and lets you disconnect from the digital world. Another great thing about attending ceramics or pottery classes is the opportunity to socialize with other, often like-minded people.
Crafting can have several positive effects on your mental wellbeing, from stress reduction to emotional expression.
Some craft projects you could try include:
- Painting and drawing
- Knitting and crocheting
- Designing photo books
- Adult colouring books
- Pottery and ceramics
Why not give them a go and see which you enjoy the most?
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