Dye for mental health: As a DIY blogger, I love sharing my favorite projects with you. I have reaped several benefits from these projects. Whether it is the creation of a tasty meal or a relaxing bath bomb-infused water, all these projects somehow make me (or in some cases my loved ones) feel better about Dye for Mental Health. In addition to the feeling of accomplishment, in the end, the projects seem to have deeper psychological benefits.
In fact, I have found that focusing on my projects eased some of my harder days. Realizing this is likely not unique to me, I investigated the science of how completing projects may provide psychological benefits. I am happy to say I found encouraging results.
Increases Positive Mood
Research indicates doing crafts and artwork is correlated with several positive physical and psychological outcomes. Physically, the activities reduce weight gain and bodily pain, while psychologically increasing “social functioning”. That basically means it can promote socializing in a healthy way. We can all use more functional relationships, whether with our families, friends, or coworkers. : ).
Scientists believe the positive mood enhancement is also due to the activities’ increase of the flow state. “Flow” in psychology references being in the zone while crafting, baking, or whichever involved activity you may enjoy. And being in the zone, it turns out, is pleasurable.
Major depression is a serious mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and/or loss of interest. For some, it can even lead to hopelessness. Research shows projects such as crafting and making cakes can reduce negative psychological and physical measures commonly found in depression. Scientists believe these improvements also may result from an increase in the flow state.
Being lost in thought itself is known by scientists to be biased toward negative emotions. This is what they call “negative bias”. Depression, even worse, often includes rumination about negative thoughts. Fortunately, the flow state involves the conscious directing of attention to the project. And just as it was mentioned above section, this leads to pleasurable feelings.
Whereas depression often involves rumination on the past, anxiety causes a preoccupation with the future. These are often thoughts about outcomes we would like to avoid. We can see how the flow could help here too. Instead of focusing on the past or the future, partaking in such projects allows us to be present with the activity at hand. It is difficult to be lost in thought when you must attend to the finer details of a project!
A study validated this by showing art allows a person to forget about their condition. We can generalize this to our DIY projects, just as other studies show what is essential here is the flow state. Another study showed the scores of anxiety were decreased while working on a project.
Activity Recommendations of Dye for Mental Health
Here is a list of activities that may help our emotional health (based on research!). Some are projects, like what we recommend here, while others are creative activities mentioned in the research studies.
- Bake cookies. This could be our recipe. It offers the flow state while baking, sensory pleasure upon tasting, and a sense of accomplishment afterward.
- Make drawings or paintings.
- Learn to play an instrument. It is never too late!
- Become an amateur photographer. Nature, fashion, still life…you have freedom!
- Join a knitting group. You could learn this new skill and practice it, all the while socializing.
What matters is that the project demands our attention. Our goal is to take our minds off things. The expression of creativity also seems to be helpful, so please do not be afraid to experiment. There is no failure. Just start!
Personal Experience of Dye for Mental Health
As a DIY blogger, I obviously devote a lot of time to doing these projects and writing about them. But I have also noticed some other activities which improve my emotional wellbeing. Exercise and meditation modulate my emotional state by lifting my spirits or calming my mind. Partaking in these activities also helps me see the bigger picture. I also make sure to spend time with my loved ones.
Being out in nature can make a major difference. Of course, there are also cases that may require further help. After all, these activities are just supplementary in case of major depression or anxiety disorders. Please consider consulting a mental health professional if you are having such difficulties.