In today’s fast-paced world, indulging in calming crafts is an increasingly popular way to disconnect and de-stress.
Beyond yoga and meditation, activities that require a hands-on approach, like origami, candle making, or pottery, for instance, can help your mind and body feel calmer.
In this article, we’ll explore five ideas for activities along with the science behind why crafting can be so beneficial for our mental wellbeing.
Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper into sculptures, can have a meditative effect that ultimately boosts your mental health. The precision required to fold each crisp line encourages you to remain present and focused.
As your hands transform flat squares into three-dimensional wonders, you may find the worries of your day melting away.
Origami is an accessible craft that requires little more than paper and your hands, making it easy to start anywhere, anytime.
Candle-making is another craft that calls for your whole attention. The process of melting and pouring wax, adding dyes and scents, and setting the wick can be deeply soothing.
Choosing eco-friendly materials like soy or beeswax, along with natural essences, can make your creations even more inspiring. You'll not only be crafting candles but also enriching your knowledge about this ancient craft piece by piece.
3. Clay Sculpting or Pottery
Pottery or clay sculpting is among the earliest forms of human expression, and it's gaining popularity as a modern mindfulness practice.
Manipulating the pliable clay on the wheel requires your full presence and attention.
It's an activity where you literally get your hands dirty, linking you to the primal pleasure of creation.
Also, pottery and ceramics provide an opportunity to connect with the earth, as you mold and shape raw materials into functional or decorative pieces.
The intricate art of embroidery encourages you to work closely with colourful threads and patterns. As your fingers move gracefully from one stitch to another, the rhythm can help calm your mind.
The vibrant colours at play and the varied designs available provide endless possibilities for creativity.
As you work on your project, you'll find yourself completely absorbed in the process, which can be incredibly calming and rewarding.
5. Flower Pressing and Arranging
Flower pressing and arranging is an art form that blends nature with personal creativity.
The process of choosing different petals and leaves and arranging them into patterns may be therapeutic.
It allows you to capture the fleeting beauty of nature in a personal, enduring format. A mindful connection with Earth's blooms can bring balance to your busy routine, while nurturing your creative spirit.
You might even get inspired to sign up for a floral subscription service to keep your supply of fresh, dazzling blooms steady at affordable prices.
Crafting and The Flow State
The flow state, introduced by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, refers to a mental state of complete absorption in an activity, where time seems to stand still, and you feel a deep sense of satisfaction and focus.
Engaging in creative crafts can be an effective way to induce this flow state and, in turn, boost your mental health.
Crafts have the potential to induce a state of flow for several reasons:
- Concentration. Crafting requires a high level of concentration. You must pay close attention to colors, shapes, textures, and details. This focused attention helps you detach from distractions and be present.
- Sense of timelessness. When you enter a flow state while crafting, hours can pass by without you noticing. This sense of timelessness is a hallmark of the flow state and is indicative of how absorbed you are in the activity.
- Clear goals and immediate feedback. When you're working on any craft project, you have a clear objective in mind, and you receive immediate feedback on your progress. This clarity keeps you fully engaged and motivated to continue refining your work.
Crafting and Mental Wellbeing
Now, let's explore how flow, induced by engaging in crafts, can enhance your mental wellbeing:
- Stress reduction. Flow promotes a decrease in stress and anxiety. When you're fully immersed in crafting, your mind shifts away from everyday worries, leading to a calmer mind and body.
- Improved mood. Crafting in a state of flow can elicit positive emotions. The sense of accomplishment and enjoyment that comes with the flow state can lead to an improved overall mood.
- Increased resilience. Engaging in flow-inducing activities can improve your ability to cope with life's challenges by promoting a more positive mindset and emotional wellbeing.
- Enhanced mindfulness skills. Flow requires intense concentration and focus, which can improve your mindfulness skills.
- Improved life satisfaction. Regularly experiencing flow through crafting can lead to an overall increase in life satisfaction. It promotes a sense of fulfillment and purpose, contributing to a more content and meaningful life.
In this article, we explored various crafting activities that you can enjoy:
- Clay sculpting or pottery
- Flower pressing and arranging
Crafting is not just a pastime – it can be a pathway to better mental wellbeing.
Engaging in creative crafts induces the flow state, allowing you to experience reduced stress, improved mood, increased resilience, mindfulness, and a greater sense of life satisfaction.
As you immerse yourself in crafting, you'll not only create beautiful art but also nurture your mental health.
So, why not give something new a try? We hope this article has inspired you to explore what could be a new and potentially life-enriching hobby.