It’s no secret that American adults are feeling more stressed than ever; in 2015 nearly a quarter of U.S. adults said that they were under extreme stress, as opposed to 18% in 2014.
But, what are you supposed to do about it?
The answer might surprise you: try hand stitching.
1. Hand stitching relieves stress just like meditation
The repetitive actions of stitching, combined with the required focus, results in a zen-like, meditative state. This state helps to reduce stress levels in a few important ways.
- Levels of the stress hormone cortisol are lowered, so the relaxing effects last even after the crafting session is over.
- Heart rate and blood pressure are lowered, reducing strain on the body from living in a stressed state
2. Stitching keeps your brain active
Keeping your brain cells active is an important part of mental health. Creative activities (which definitely include sewing and quilting) help keep your mind focused, engaged, and creating new connections.
This helps to:
- improve memory and concentration, and
- ward off dementia
3. Lower your blood pressure
Along with lowering stress hormones, hand crafts also lower blood pressure naturally. Yay!
4. Improve Mental Health
Crafting has countless benefits for your mental health, but it can be especially helpful for people who suffer from depression, anxiety, or chronic pain. It is also used in treatments for eating disorders and ADD. How does it help with all of these different things? By reducing stress, and giving the brain something else to focus on.
5. Fight Arthritis
Whether you already suffer from arthritis or you’re just trying to keep it away, stitching can help. The repetitive motion keeps fingers limber, and actually improves manual dexterity over time.
Are you feeling ready to grab a needle yet?