Craft workshops help you in two totally different ways June 18, 2016 21:08 1 Comment
We all know exercise is good for you - but craft is holding it's own in terms of wellbeing benefits too!
Future proofing your brain
As you get older, your brain gets smaller. I find that a bit alarming, as I really rather like my brain and the various jobs it does for me. But it turns out, as with so many things in life, that size isn’t everything when it comes to your mental agility.
You can’t stop your brain from shrinking, but you can improve the neural links in your brain, and that’s what actually matters. Happily for me, learning new things is one of the best way to boost your brain activity. Doctors recommend taking up something that challenges you at least every decade…
Craft in particular improves your cognitive function. Take quilting. There’s now evidence from a study by the University of Glasgow that quilters' brains are challenged not only by dexterity but geometry too, and it helps keep them sharp as a quilters pin for years to come.
Find the flow and wash away worries
Serena Williams, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Beth Tweddle will all recognise the concept of flow – the state of mind conjured up when someone is truly immersed in something and doing it intuitively and often brilliantly. It's often thought of as a purely sporting phenomenon, but it’s a recognised psychological state that can occur when you concentrate on anything physical
Flow was first defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who pointed out that we aren’t actually very good at multitasking. Think about what it’s like to have two people talking to you at once – you can't take either conversation in. It’s the same when you’re doing a physical task, because you can only really concentrate on one thing. If you are immersed in doing something, you just don’t have the headspace to worry, stress, or dwell on negative things. So that’s why when you’re crafting, the time flies, and you lose yourself totally in the moment. And dropping your worries, even briefly, is good for you.
by Sonia Bownes, Founder of London Craft Club