Crafty Brains

Hold on to your needles and yarn because science is proving what we farmgirls have known for generations … that crafting is good for the brain! Cooking, sewing, drawing, painting, taking photos, listening to music—any creative endeavor—is beneficial, and its physical effects are similar to those of meditation.

Photo Oct 09, 4 35 44 PM

When we’re involved with a craft, we enter a special zone that psychologists refer to as “flow”—that place where we are so focused on the task at hand that we don’t notice hunger or fatigue or the passing of time. Being in a creative flow reduces stress and helps fight inflammation, and when we engage in activities that we find pleasurable, our bodies also release dopamine, nature’s own antidepressant.

And just like playing brain games or working crossword puzzles, crafting can protect us against aging and dementia by working different areas of our brains at the same time, using memory, attention span, visual processing, and problem-solving in tandem.

Whew, all that from a little old embroidery needle. So the next time you’re enjoying a little quilting instead of say, chasing dust bunnies, you can feel a little less guilty knowing you’re taking good care of your health.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I like this research. Finally a reason to indulge regularly and without guilt in making whatever interests me that day. It’s like a free pass!

    • MaryJane says:

      How’s your sweater vest coming along??? Sooooooo knit happy.

      • Karlyne says:

        Sweater vest?!? I love sweater vests! Winnie, you’re just so multi-faceted!

        • Winnie Nielsen says:

          Karlyne, this is my very first attempt at a vest and so I am a bit nervous about getting all of the arms and neck done correctly. It has to be just right in order to wear it. Keeping my fingers crossed!

          Your embroidered sock project sounds fun. I bet they are cute!

      • Winnie Nielsen says:

        Well, I have not knitted on it since Monday night but hope to spend time this afternoon doing some more. Did you find your family vest yet?

        I also signed up for this sock swap on the Forum and decided instead of making a stocking, I would knit a pair of Christmas colored socks that were thick and could be worn in boots. They are turning out so cute and I am almost done both of them! They are going to have some little jingle bells on the sides too. So my knitting time the past few days has been split up between projects. Heheh, I used up yarn scraps and the socks are so cute, I might make myself a pair!

  2. Would that I had the time to craft these days !! Just started a second business,( back to selling antiques again which I did years ago – got boxes of neat old things piled up in 2 of my bedrooms + the 2nd story of my stone cottage -yep lots of inventory ) to help with the diminishing cash flow. At this time of year I also do all the upgrading of my website to reflect my growing season’s hard work of raising plants for seeds for my heirloom seed business. I am currently writing new and hopefully zippy descriptions for about 30 varieties of rare tomatoes, 15 sorts of beans, 8 peppers, and 5 heirloom melons too. yep a little too busy to be ” in the flow” for now. Maybe come winter…..?

  3. Karlyne says:

    My nine-year-old granddaughter will turn 10 in January, and we’re already planning her birthday party. For party favors, we’re going to get embroidery hoops, floss and little scissors. Then we’ll draw each girl’s initial on a quilt block which we’ll embroider during the party. I’ve been embroidering her little brother’s blocks while waiting for her at dance class, and all of the girls (and their moms) who come by are fascinated. Won’t we have fun?!?

  4. Nancy Coughlin says:

    How wonderful to realize that what we have known for so long is finally being given credence. What we make with our own hands comes from the heart and by extension has to have that brain and soul link that is important for us. THanks for sharing.

  5. Marge Hofknecht says:

    I just love to read stuff like this. And it’s so true. I feel so refreshed when I’ve worked on and finished a knitting project or crochet project.

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