Sometimes it seems like mental and emotional issues hit you out of nowhere, but when they do, they can hit hard. Stress, anxiety, depression and addiction can be debilitating. They wear the mind thin, which, in turn, affects personal relationships, work and everything else in your day-to-day life.

The mind is not all that different than the body. When it gets tired, your mind needs to rest in order to reboot. One way of helping the mind rest is to engage in crafts.

In fact, “craft coordinator” is quickly becoming a staple job position in hospitals and rehab facilities. These coordinators are responsible for bringing relief to patients of stress through art.

Studies have shown that when the mind is clear of anxiety, stress, and depression, physical health issues decrease. Medical professionals throughout the world have spoken about the power of do-it-yourself projects and how they affect healing the mind.

1. Boost Attention Span and Motivation

It is well-documented that depression and stress lead to a lack of motivation and a declining attention span. When the brain is tired, concentration is next to impossible. Thinking about anything but the stressor can become too demanding on your mind.

Even just learning the steps of a craft can increase your mind’s ability to focus exponentially. Discovering a new craft can assist in directing your thoughts away from any negativity.

2. Don’t Think So Much

Negativity breeds even more negativity. The more you think about the problems in your life, the worse you will feel. When the problems feel worse and overwhelming, that becomes your reality. Mental health professionals always recommend that patients find distractions to keep them from unhelpful dwelling.

Crafts, whether it is knitting, painting or pottery, are sure to keep your mind occupied so that it’s not plagued by your problems. When you’re crafting, all that matters is the next step you have to complete your piece of art.

DIY Crafts can help clear the mind.

3. A Well Earned Sense of Accomplishment

Depression and other mental disorders are often paired with a sense of worthlessness. Crafts can give a person the feeling that he or she accomplished something worthwhile. If you make a quilt, knit a sweater, or even do something as small as fold a paper crane, there is something tangible that illustrates that you are capable of completing something with your own two hands. The craft is something you can keep as a reminder that you are more than what your mental illness is telling you.

If you find that you enjoy crafting, you may even want to exhibit some of your work at a craft fair. Selling what you make at a fair can help you feel more accomplished; it can also encourage you to continue crafting.

4. Boosting Your Self Esteem

Mental health issues can easily ravage a person’s self-esteem. A lack of self-esteem doing things, from applying for a job to cleaning the home, seem pointless. Hobbies are a well-documented way to raise a person’s self-worth. While sports and other physical activities are usually advocated for this very purpose, that’s not always possible. Art is a great alternative.

A hobby like do-it-yourself crafting may seem like a small, insignificant thing. But there’s no shame in needing something small to create a reason to get up in the morning. Mental trauma is a hurdle that anybody can defeat. The first step is letting that little thing ease your mind so that it can begin to heal.

DIY Crafts can boost self-esteem!

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance health & wellness writer in Los Angeles who specializes in fitness, skin care, and special needs advocacy. As a mother of three, she often finds that DIY projects helps reduce her stress levels. 

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