Michelle Baker, MA
Woodworking as Therapeutic Art
Woodworking is a hobby for some and a profession for others, but it can be a powerful therapeutic tool for just about everyone. In fact, many military veterans with PTSD have benefited from this particular activity. Most people who try out woodworking for the first time quickly become addicted. Creating something with your own two hands can instill a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment.
Giving Yourself a Purpose
Everyone needs to feel as if they have a purpose in life in order to be truly happy; woodworking can give you this feeling.
Making something with your own two hands will provide you with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. You will be doing something productive with something physical to show for all of your effort.
The harder your work at this hobby, the more purposeful you will feel. There is definitely something very therapeutic about honing a skill and making incremental improvements over time.
Bring Out Your Creative Side
Another reason why woodworking has become such a popular therapeutic activity is because it brings out the creative side of those who do it.
Everyone has some amount of creative skill and ability, and woodworking is an excellent way to manifest it. There are an endless number of things that you can make with some wood and the right tools.
Being creative is fun, and studies have shown that that it can help people get into a more relaxed state of mind. Lots of people who never thought of themselves as creative were pleasantly surprised when they took up this hobby.
The Science Behind Making Art
There is a very distinct difference in brain activity with creating art versus simply looking at it. When you are actually physically making some form of art, such as a woodworking project, you actually become more capable of dealing with stress.
The more you do this, the more resilient you will be to adversity, both mentally and physically. This is one of the main reasons why creating art is such a popular form of therapy for those who struggle with everything from PTSD to depression.
The Power of Woodworking
Anyone can benefit from doing woodworking. Even setting aside just a few hours a week for this activity could make a hugely positive difference in your overall happiness and mental health.
Those with PTSD, depression and anxiety often find woodworking to be quite helpful on multiple levels. It doesn’t require a huge investment of your time or money, and the potential rewards are huge.
There are lots of simple and easy woodworking projects that you can start off with, such as a birdhouse or even just a pencil holder. As you become more skilled at this type of work, you can become more creative and make the most amazing things.
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