There are many different ways to practice mindfulness including established methods of guided meditation. You shouldn’t discount any option that will help you though if meditation isn’t for you. So, for someone who is artistic, you might find that it helps to practice mindfulness using your craft.
Ever wondered – what is creative mindfulness? Why do creativity and mindfulness go together? Or why is combining mindfulness with creativity can be beneficial? Turns out, tapping into that creative energy can actually improve your overall health. It might sound too good to be true, but by engaging in creative behaviors you can improve your brain function, mental and physical health. The theory of cognition states that being creative is actually a basis for human life. Basically, being creative is pretty important!
So, time to let your artistic side go free and embrace these 4 hands on creative trends growing in popularity to reach peak mindfulness.
Paint by Numbers
Image of Brittany Spears painting via Elle Decor
Hobbycraft commented that “new chosen craft to help stimulate mindfulness and relaxation” and their reports that sales have increased by over 80% in recent years. Paint by Numbers takes all the thought out of what you’re doing, allowing your hands to move methodically through the picture while your brain takes a break as you follow the instructions. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is a form of a mindfulness in whereby the practice of making and creating artwork is used to “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behaviour and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.” You can read more about the benefits of painting by numbers here on The Art Gorgeous.
Image of Kristin Davis via eclecticitee
Knitting has long since earned back its cool points, with social knitting groups such as Stitch & Bitch populating quirky bars and vintage-looking cafes all over the world. Medknitation aims to get the overstimulated to turn off their phones and achieve flow by stitching. In fact, according to Jane E. Brody’s recent article for The New York Times: “The Craft Yarn Council reports that a third of women ages 25 to 35 now knit or crochet.” So let the record state: Knitting isn’t just for grandmas anymore.
Emily Ratajkowski via her Instagram page
Pottery is more than an hobby of the moment – amid our can’t-stop-won’t-stop tech-addicted culture, it connects us to the earth when the world might as well be coming undone. In the past few years, pottery has crept into the realm of fashion and the whole of Britain has gone even more potty for pottery recently with a whole reality TV show dedicated to the craft – The Great Pottery Throw Down. The craze for earthenware has also made a mark on Instagram, too, where potters such as Lindsey Hampton, Helen Levi, and Natalie Weinberger who boast followings rivaling those of any fashion influencer.
Kendall Jenner via Hello Magazine
In a media-saturated world where we are spending more and more time staring at our screens, you might think that picking up a camera to ease your mind might seem counterintuitive—but scientific research proves otherwise. In 2010, scientists analyzed and reported a summary of over 100 studies focusing on the effects of art on physical and psychological health in The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature. The findings were unequivocal. Not only does photography allow you to express yourself, but it also helps bring focus to positive life experiences, enhances your self-worth, and even reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Instead of snapping 25 photos in one go on your digital camera or phone, try to make due with one single photo that has meaning to you and delete the rest. Or simply buy a film camera to make your photography even more mindful.
It’s pretty amazing that doing the activities that make us feel good (see that dopamine rush) are genuinely good for us. Grab a camera or a pen and start writing, doodling, or coloring. – or get your hands dirty with pottery or painting. Whatever you decide to do, it’s time to start getting creative!
Text by Peigi Mackillop