Now more than ever it is important to look after our mental and physical health. The COVID-19 global pandemic has had an unexpected impact on everyone’s lives, ranging from unemployment to being unable to travel to see loved ones interstate or overseas. In times of uncertainty and stress, sewing is something that has always been there to help me unwind, destress and relax.
Sewing has a number of benefits, one of the most important benefits of sewing is the impact it has on mental health and well-being. Read our Why you should start using PDF sewing patterns now blog post to learn about all the benefits of using PDF sewing patterns and visit our shop to find your next project.
Sewing is mindful
In the field of psychology, dopamine is known as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter. Undertaking activities that boost dopamine in the brain can lead to living a more mindful and happy lifestyle. Activities that require focus, motivation, attention and learning have been proven to release dopamine in the brain. This means that sewing is basically a dopamine feel-good fest for our brains, which is why we always feel so good after a sewing session!
Not only does sewing boost dopamine activity in our brain, it has also been proven to elicit a calming effect on our bodies and our minds. We all lead such busy and stressful lives, and the importance of calmness is often forgotten and set aside. The art of sewing allows us to totally zone out and distract ourselves from negative thoughts and the day-to-day pressures we face. The ability to be calm and the practice of mindfulness improves emotional regulation and well-being.
Sewing is an outlet that allows us to focus our energy into something positive and creative. Without realising, the process of sewing can actually be meditative: you focus solely on your project at hand and allow your creativity to spark and take over completely. Sewing can make us more mindful in our day-to-day lives without us even realising. It is so important for us to take time out for ourselves and pay attention to our thoughts and feelings, and sitting down with a cup of tea and your sewing machine is the perfect way to do this.
I think we can all agree that when a friend (or even better, a complete stranger) compliments us on a piece of clothing that we’ve dedicated a significant amount of time to creating is one of the best feelings ever! Even the process of choosing a pattern and picking out a cute fabric can boost our self-esteem, and the process of finalising the project can lead to a wonderful sense of accomplishment. So what I’m saying is… the entire process of sewing is basically the best thing ever to keep our minds happy and healthy!
Sewing is social
While sewing is thought to be a mostly solitary activity, it has actually been proven to greatly enhance our social lives and expand our networks.
Isolation and loneliness have a significant impact on our mental and physical health. Feeling disconnected from those around us can lead to low energy, low motivation, problems with sleep, and even depressed moods. Having a hobby that helps you improve and strengthen your networks is invaluable for keeping your mind and body healthy. There are a number of sewing groups that meet up regularly, and even work on shared projects together. If you are interested in joining a sewing group, a great first step is to join the Flosstyle Fair facebook group. This group has over 8k members and is a great place to meet like minded people to get advice and discuss your sewing projects.
While the importance of having strong bonds and friendships is clear, sewing is also a great activity to do solo when you need some time and space away from everyone else.
Sewing is creative
Engaging in creativity has a positive impact on our well-being. The entire sewing journey engages our brains in creative thought. From researching different patterns to choosing seam finishes, our brains are focused, motivated and constantly learning.
On average, we have around 60,000 different thoughts in just one day: crazy right!? It’s no wonder that we can often feel weighed down and snowed under. Having a creative outlet like sewing allows us to channel our (60,000!) thoughts into one project: this has the same effect that meditation does on our brain.
People who have been sewing for quite some time even have the ability to visualise how they will make something new, how they will fix a broken item, and how they will embellish a new project. Visualisation is a key component in keeping our minds active and leveraging off the new techniques and skills we learn as we progress in our sewing. This just further proves that having a creative outlet can improve our lives immensely.
Sewing is therapeutic
Not only does sewing have a positive impact on our mental health, it has also been found to impact our physical health too.
Sewing greatly improves hand-eye coordination. For those who are new to sewing, it is clear that even threading the sewing machine can be quite fiddly and requires strict concentration. More seasoned sewers can thread a machine without blinking an eye, and can glide fabric through the machine seemingly without even paying attention. This is clear evidence of how sewing improves your hand-eye coordination the more you do it. Poor hand-eye coordination can impact every day activities such as writing, driving and exercise: this is why it’s so important to maintain strong hand-eye coordination (through sewing a super cute dress, just like our Flosstyle Lala dress pattern).
The entire process of sewing teaches us something new with each project we undertake: it is an ongoing learning journey. Constantly learning new skills and techniques keeps our brains engaged and active, which helps to prevent degenerative diseases and dementia.
Following instructions and sticking to a clearly defined methodology allows us to keep our minds clear and focused. Give our Step by step guide blog post on how to download PDF sewing patterns a read to learn something new and boost your self esteem by creating a fabulous new creation.
Adding even just 30 minutes of sewing to your daily routine can help you live a more mindful and healthy life. There aren’t many hobbies that are proven to improve your overall health while also giving you an opportunity to create your own clothing accessories and anything else you can imagine! Sewing is a great hobby for improving and enhancing our overall well-being (and that’s just one of the reasons why we think sewing is the absolute best!).