The science behind crafting for a calm mind
Here at Good Things we’re all about the outdoors. But, there’s something balm like about cozying up next to a wood burner with a book or something in your hands.
We’ve been super inspired by the beautiful textiles and blankets we’ve seen in Wales and with our upcoming retreat there in a few weeks, we thought this the perfect activity for us to (re)engage our creativity and pay homage to this beautiful local tradition.
Along with making something beautiful for your walls (wall hangings are de rigueur doncha’ know) the act of rhythmically moving ones hands, be it weaving, knitting, embroidery (my current particular fave), has become the subject of many health and wellbeing studies. Looking at the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression and PTSD to name a few.
The act of engaging with awareness at the task at hand, giving us a point of focus outside of our stories and narrative, is something akin to meditation. As a practitioner of meditation, teacher of yoga and an avid crafter, I’m gonna stand right up there and say yeah it is, totally.
There’s a reason, knitting was recently branded the “New Yoga”, the focus, the quietening the chatter of mind, the ability to move in to flow, the rhythmic hand movements, the breath… All contribute to the activation of our parasympathetic nervous system, leading to reduced stress and inflammation. PLUS you get a pretty ass thing to wear or hang on your wall and illicit that tasty neurotransmitter dopamine, which is responsible for our reward and pleasure centres. A non-medical, non-harmful way to stimulate your reward centre in the brain. I’m in.
A side note to this crafty love in, when engaging in any kind of activity like this, I (personally) have to practice a little what we call in the Yoga tent, Aparigraha, or non-attachment, as I’m not the most skilful of the bunch and I can’t ever be too tied to a crafty outcome! Above all, I’m happy, just to be for a while… next to the wood burner turning my hands in rhythm.