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How to Craft Yourself into Good Health

It’s one of the craftiest times of the year. From now until after Christmas you will no doubt have more craft projects planned than ever before. And who isn’t excited?! All the glitter, the mountains of fabric and, of course, the pretty paper. Bliss.
But, as usual, as the Christmas calendar starts to fill itself in, finding the motivation to continue working on so many craft projects can be a real chore.
Fortunately, if you suspect you may fall foul of the winter busy bug this Christmas then you will be glad to hear that not only are there the fun, creative benefits of crafting but there are now proven health benefits too.
Crafting can help reduce your chances of developing mild cognitive impairment by as much as 50%.
While I’m not the biggest fan of working out I think I can get down with the brain craft work out (trademarked!). Yes, that’s right, in the process of crafting you’re not only building beautiful centrepieces you’re also exercising your brain. This constant concentration, coordination and skill is the perfect all round work out for your brain and can help stave of cognitive impairment by as much as 50%.
Crafting can help towards decreasing anxiety
If you’ve read my article on crafting and mindfulness then you will not be surprised to learn that crafting can help decrease anxiety. The level of concentration required to complete a project demands complete mindfulness and it is in those moments where you are fully focused on the feel of the material or vibration of the sewing machine where your best work is completed.
Crafting has shown promising results in helping treat depression
Again, similar to anxiety, it is in those moments of complete concentration where your brain switches off from the background noise and you are fully immersed in a project. Now, not only can that keep your brain calm, but crafting has been show to stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain.
Crafting can help enhance the memory function in adults
Who are the smartest people in the world? Easy answer – crafters. Crafting over a long period of time has been shown to increase the mental capacity, generally improve memory and add to cognitive reserves.
Crafting has shown promising results in improving your spatial senses and helping make you mentally sharp. What are you spatial senses? Well, simply, it’s the awareness of your surroundings in coordination to yourself. Improving your spatial senses basically means you will be less clumsy but in a more in depth sense your brain will be sharper and clearer. This is again because of the level of coordination required in crafting and also because of the constant use of your hand to eye coordination skills.
Crafting can help prevent arthritis and tendinitis
What does the stereotypical crafter look like to the general public? If you asked a thousand people, I’m betting they’d say a homely old lady in a rocking chair. Why is that image so ingrained in the public’s mind? Simply because activities like knitting and crochet have been recommended to people with arthritis or tendinitis for over 50 years. Why do they recommend it? Well, the movement of the hands keeps the fluids moving up and through the cartilage.
Crafting can help to lower your heart rate and decrease blood pressure
Think about the one thing you need after a stressful day at work? Ok (put the wine down!), what about the second thing you crave? Yes, crafting. Once you knuckle down to the task in hand you automatically feel calmer and more relaxed. What is de-stressing good for? Yes, the heart!

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