Craftsmanship is the greatest popular cultural expression of a people, it is what is done with great tradition by the hands of the people of a place, it is an expression of art, a cultural expression, an expression at the social level and interferes in many layers of society. A craftsman is an artist who often does not receive the credit he deserves for his works, we have a habit of not valuing popular art with as much credit as we do other types of art, which is a shame, even more so in a country like Brazil, so rich in cultural expression, so rich in so many varied aspects.
The concept of handicraft is linked to manual work, mainly valuing natural raw materials, which do not undergo major transformation processes, such as industrialized products. For this reason it is a delicate work, which requires a lot of time of dedication or preparation, so remember when buying a handicraft piece, that this piece is not only the material product that you see there, but it is also the product of time, the product of many details and much care, that’s why the value of the labor in a handicraft is so important and also symbolic.
Crafts and health: practice brings benefits! It is no exaggeration to say that doing manual work is a form of meditation. Activities such as knitting, crochet, embroidery, and collage, in general, are meticulous and, somehow, require you to practice full attention – the famous mindfulness. There are already several studies linking mindfulness to important benefits. Following this path, it is possible to say that crafts and health have everything to do! What is mindfulness? Practicing mindfulness consists in maintaining awareness and attention in the here and now, without making judgments. This means focusing on the present and being aware of the manifestations of the body and mind during a certain period. Those who have handicraft as a habit can identify with this condition. In the book Mindfulness – How to find peace in a frenetic world, Mark Williams, professor of neuroscience at Oxford University, says that numerous studies in the field show that practicing mindfulness can have a positive impact on quality of life. According to the publication, reducing anxiety, stress, and depression symptoms, controlling blood pressure, fighting aging, and strengthening the immune system are some examples of what mindfulness can do for health.
Crafting and brain health – Betsan Corkhill is a craftswoman and quality of life coach in the UK. In an online survey of over 3,545 crafters, she sought to learn more about the therapeutic effects of the practice on their lives. More than half said that crafting was synonymous with happiness, and many reported effects of relaxation, stress relief, and creativity awakening during the development of their activities. The study also found that those who engaged in crafts more than 3 times a week felt more relaxed, less anxious, and more confident. According to Betsan, it can be said that crafts contribute to well-being and quality of life, especially when they are done in groups. A study published in the journal Neurology concluded that crafts can reduce the risk of mild memory failure. According to the researchers, people who paint, sculpt, weave, or perform any artistic activity as part of their routine are 73 percent less likely to develop the problem during the aging process. When they considered the risk of dementia, there was a drop of up to 45% compared to people who do not have crafts as a hobby.
8 reasons to take up crafting:
- it’s a way to practice mindfulness, i.e. meditate;
- It develops coordination and motor skills;
- Encourages creativity and concentration;
- Leads to a greater sense of relaxation and happiness;
- Strengthens learning;
- Combats stress and the symptoms of depression;
- Protects the brain against memory failure
- Stimulates socialization, improving social connections.
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