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    Relieving Stress by Crafting

    woman relieving stress by craftingHere’s another trick to help overcome stress and anxiety in one’s life.  One does not necessarily have to make time to meditate every day to gain the benefits of meditation.  Rather, all you need to do is quiet your mind and “zone out” on any menial task that does not require you to engage actively with another person.  A group of such tasks has recently become highly publicized.  That group of beneficial activities is the wide world of crafting.

    Early craft practitioners may not experience the full meditative benefits that experienced hands will because a novice’s mind is likely to be too actively engaged in the process to ensure they don’t make mistakes.  This increased mental activity prevents the mind from “zoning out” and making a connection with its subconscious where the benefits of meditation begin to occur.  With time and experience, however, virtually any craft can become second nature and the process of crafting becomes a relaxing pastime that does not require active mental faculties; thus, becoming pseudo-meditative in nature.

    The benefits of crafting as a form of meditation are at least threefold:

    First, the wide variety of crafts and hobbies increases the likelihood that something will appeal to you regardless of whether you are a man or a woman.  Woodworking can be as much a craft and hobby as needlework, quilting, cooking, or gardening, and the list of possibilities is virtually limitless.

    Second, because the craft is enjoyable – and thus a hobby – it increases the likelihood that you will practice the craft on a frequent, potentially daily basis; thus, gaining a [daily] meditative benefit that might otherwise not have been realized given our busy lives.

    Third, there is a feeling of fulfillment with the successful practice of a craft that is not realized by regular meditation because the craft practitioner generally completes a project with the craft’s culmination.  There is something special about building something with one’s own hands, or completing a project (dinner, garden, etc.) that did not exist before.  This feeling of accomplishment tends to be a reward in its own right and serves as a positive feedback mechanism to encourage you to return and ply the trade again.  People who earn significant incomes still find unique pleasure by engaging in simple pastimes like making hobby jewelry or knitting their own clothes.  Obviously a lawyer does not need to knit a hat or scarf, but the positive benefits of crafting are worth far more than the simple items created by these various crafting activities.

    It’s obvious that the benefits of crafting are no secret. The number of crafters in America has skyrocketed over the last decade.  Crafts are sold in weekend craftfairs and flea markets and daily through online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay.  Etsy just passed 1,000,000 sellers, likely signifying that while those lawyers still want to knit hats as a way to relax after a hard day at the office, eventually they have to find a way to avoid burying themselves at home in a pile of knitted hats.  Performing a craft is a meditative hobby that allows one’s mind and body to heal through the repetitive motion and relaxation realized by the craft, but when the craft is complete, that new product generally needs a (new) home.  There are really only so many paintings and clay coffee mugs that one crafter can stand keeping at home before enough is enough.  So do yourself and other crafters a favor: find a craft and hobby that you can enjoy performing on a daily basis, but then share your gifts in the craft marketplace.  And don’t worry, if that great pair of knitted socks gets bought before you can click “buy now,” we’ll make some more for you — during tomorrow’s crafting session.

    Wade Wilson is the author of The Hidden Truth: A logical path through compelling evidence to discover the nature of reality and the meaning of life, available at Amazon. The first half of the book can be downloaded for free at http://www.free-ebooks.net.

    Article Source: Relieving Stress by Crafting

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