How Arts and Crafts Saved My Mental Health

Do you have anxiety and/or depression? Have you been through a trauma and/or lost someone? Are you stressed? Do you have chronic pain? Luckily, there is a fun and easy way to help you through the tough times: arts and crafts. It has been scientifically proven that doing something creative helps with all of these conditions. 

Scientists have researched the benefits of arts and crafts, and have found that it helps with anxiety, depression, trauma/PTSD, and stress, as well as increasing your overall happiness. When you are doing something creative, no matter what it is, your brain gives you endorphins (the happy chemical). 

When I researched the benefits of arts and crafts, I also researched art therapy. Art therapy is often used in conjunction with talk therapy. It helps people express the things they want to say when they can’t find the words to express their feelings. Art therapy has been used with war veterans, people who have mental disorders, and the elderly. According to this article from Michigan State University, art therapy helps with reducing pain and stress in cancer patients. Art also helps with depression and anxiety. 

I am an artist/crafter. I have always had anxiety, but I didn’t really know what it was until I was an adult. It explains A LOT. I was always the “shy," “quiet” kid. I wouldn’t talk to anybody since I didn’t want to speak. Whenever I had to do anything that involved talking to people, class presentations, or being in a group for something, I would get so nervous. My heart would beat so fast I thought it would jump out and run away. My stomach would do flip-flops, and I had to pee ALL THE TIME! As I have gotten older, the anxiety manifested in physical ways. 

During college, I found card making. I just so happened to stumble upon it while doing research for a design project. After going down the card rabbit hole, I went to my local craft store and bought some basic craft supplies. The moment I made that first card I was hooked. I had never been so relaxed as all the stress from school and home life fled my body. 

Being creative is a great way to help you physically and mentally. I suggest that you go to your local store and start with something small. A great way would be to get a project kit and see if you like it. Good luck and happy crafting! 

Written by: Laura Rogers

Instagram: @soul_shine_designs

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