Stress Relief Through Crafting
Most of us get stressed by even the simplest of things in our daily lives, be it boredom, work or fighting to achieve our expectations.
For some, it is difficult to realize how often we feel in this way. This is because we live without stopping to think about our problems. Living like all the time is certainly not healthy.
Stress negatively affects our health, compromises our body our immune system and can leave individuals vulnerable to health issues.
Stress relief has been practised for many years with meditation and yoga dominating this practice. More activities have been incorporated into stress relief to fit into our fast-paced and busy lifestyle.
Studies have shown that art and crafting can greatly improve mental health. This is because creating and materializing something occupies the mind with positive thoughts. While we are creating and having our mind and hands occupied, we are not focusing on our problems, which is the primary key goal of stress relief.
Crafting Ideas to Help You Knock Out Stress
Below are some crafting ideas that will enable you to deal, and manage stress levels.
The Relaxation Response of Drawing
Grabbing a pencil and a piece of paper is one of the answers to beating anxiety, depression or even stress.
During drawing for relaxation, one puts their feelings into the sketch and lets out their engraved emotions. This is beneficial to individuals who do not want to talk about their experience but can express them non-verbally.
By using drawing as a therapy, you can give yourself “permission” to draw as fast or slow as you feel in the moment. By letting the medium of pen or pencil lead the way, your mind is fixed at the moment, but you should not think too much about how good your drawing will be.
Slowly you will find the lines getting neater, your breathing slowing down, and you would start to feel much more relaxed. This is because you have expressed your feelings unconsciously, and instead of screaming at someone or being frustrated with yourself, you have thrown it at the paper. Soon you should feel a normal heartbeat, which would be one of the signs of a relaxation response.
Art Therapy Ideas
Art therapy is a therapy where feelings can be communicated without having verbal communication.
There are several art therapy ideas to relieve stress and anxiety. These activities help us to work through our thoughts, emotions and feelings by putting it into artistic media.
Art therapists engage with their clients by discussing their artwork and they give solutions and help to their clients. In the same way, we can also use crafts at home as a form of relaxation.
It would be more efficient if we choose a craft and a medium that we would be more comfortable with or feel more inclined to try. This is because, the medium (painting, pencils, clay) we are going to use, will help us explore our feelings and repressed emotions.
Art therapy ideas can be as simple as drawing lines on a piece of paper. It can be used for people of all ages. See some art therapy ideas below:
Creating a photo collage
Materials: scissors, magazines, drawing paper and glue.
Choose and cut pictures from a magazine and paste them onto the paper. The artwork would describe your current state of emotions. So, you would be able to be more aware of how you are feeling and might start to think about solutions for your problems that you may not have thought about before.
Finding relaxing hobbies that are enjoyable can also help you to calm down.
Colouring and knitting are some of the relaxing hobbies that enable our mind to switch off and focus on what you are doing (and not in the problems or issues that are out of your control).
Crafts as a hobby enhances the release of hormones in our body, therefore, bringing calm and positivity in our life.
Gaining self-knowledge can help us know when we are stressed or not, thus help us to remove stressors and manage difficult situations.
Creating art is an exploration of our feelings and emotions that most of the time we do not want to think about.
By gaining self-knowledge of how we feel and how we deal with our emotions enables us to find the reason for stress and tackle it in a more positive way.
Arts and Crafts brings an individual to the present moment by shifting the attention to our senses which would relax our thinking.
Using crafts as a form of art therapy is an opportunity for removing past feelings or future ideas that bring stress by materializing in a creative format.
Combating stress through arts and crafts is an enjoyable and engaging way to deal with the ups and downs of life.
What are you waiting for? Find yourself a craft/hobby that will brighten your day, reduce depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as improving your wellbeing, vitality, and happiness.