I often encounter the following advice: think back to what gave you joy as a child, and try to incorporate that into your life again. As a kid, I enjoyed using my hands, and I was constantly requesting things like jewelry-making kits for my birthdays. It seemed wise to begin crafting again.
So, I took this advice to heart and promptly started diamond painting.
For those who are not familiar with this craft, it follows the same grid pattern as cross stitch. Instead of thread, you take tiny pieces of resin (“diamonds”) and place them on a canvas to create an image.
It turned into a hobby I love and can’t get enough of. I have a few pieces under my belt now, and I work on whatever my current project is daily.
Crafting offers me benefits that have emerged elsewhere in my life, and I’m going to list some here. While I focused on one type of craft, I have done a variety of crafts in my life and can say with confidence that it applies to most of them.
1. It relaxes and strengthens the mind.
The first point is the main reason I got back into crafting. The act of performing the same task repeatedly puts the brain in a zen state of mind. We are constantly plugged in to technology. Therefore, being able to spend time quietly working on projects helps us re-learn how to concentrate on one thing at a time. As a bonus, it increases dexterity as you use your hands and mind together.
2. Helps you stick to a routine.
Everyone is different, but I personally am healthier and happier when I make routines. By working on a kit at roughly the same time every day, I’ve trained myself to remain in a more stable mood. I know when I’ve had a busy day at work, I’ll be able to treat myself to hobby time after the work day is done. It helps me keep things in perspective.
3. Big project? Divide it into smaller tasks.
It can be intimidating to stare down a huge new canvas and wonder how you’ll get it done. Therefore, sectioning off pieces of the canvas made it less scary. Just like daily life, it’s ideal to break big tasks into smaller ones. As a result of crafting, I’ve become more competent with using this approach elsewhere.
4. It’s Best to Enjoy the Process.
I love diamond painting, but I can’t always work on it for long periods of time. Some days, I might be able to squeeze in half an hour. Yet, I don’t stress about it. I enjoy the entire process of crafting, including setting up my materials and work area. Because of this, I don’t feel the urge to push through projects frantically.
5. Gives you confidence.
When the whole thing is finally done, it gives me an amazing feeling to step back and see what I’ve created. It reinforces my confidence in myself to see something through to completion. Not only that, it makes me even more eager to start another project.
As someone who experiences a lot of anxiety and struggled with finishing things as a result, this is the most powerful benefit of all.