Ever feel like your memory isn’t what it used to be? Do you believe you’re not retaining information as you once did?
It seems that many people have accepted a decline in memory as we age, yet there are things we can do about it – including needle felting!
Alright, the studies don’t specifically call out needle felting, but they do mention crafting and hobbies. It turns out that when we use our brains to create, we improve overall brain function and memory – cool, eh?
Researchers have put considerable effort into proving the ways crafts and hobbies can help the brain and our overall health. One study showed that when people engaged in crafting and socialized in the community, they delayed memory problems that often happen in old age, including dementia.
Needle felting can also help you clear your head, much in the same way meditation does, and help you sleep better. And as we’ve all heard, sleep is crucial to resetting our hormones and cognitive functions.
Picking up any new hobby requires us to take on a “beginner’s mind” and go into learning mode. As we age, we are less apt to try new things, yet that’s exactly what we need to do to maintain brain health.
Experts say that crafting can ward off depression and increase dopamine, the brain chemical responsible for motivating you. This combination acts as protection against aging and memory loss. Score another point for needle felting!
Learning new things – or pushing ourselves with existing hobbies – is healthy for brain function as well as increases confidence.
If you’re new to needle felting, pick up a complete kit so you’re sure you have everything you need. Start with a simple project to get the hang of it, then move to more advanced kits when you want a new challenge.
Bear Creek offers lots of support for both new and seasoned needle felters so we can help your brain stay strong for many animals to come! From online video lessons to this very blog, we’re here to help!
Doodle and Learn
Have you ever noticed that when you pick up a project that you are reminded of the program you were watching or music you were listening to the last time you worked on it? It happens to me all the time!
That’s the real effect of engaging other parts of your brain while learning. Einstein’s doodles are now famous but were once misunderstood. Now, researchers understand that doodling – or doing something creative – actually boosts retention.
Einstein wasn’t alone. Steve Jobs, John F. Kennedy, Nikola Tesla, and others all famously doodled, and all are considered creative! Researchers have proved that retention rates increase when listeners were encouraged to doodle-along. They showed it wasn’t mindless, but a way to stay engaged and process information.
While you may not want to take your needle felting to your next lecture series, you could try listening to a podcast or audiobook while you advance your latest project. You won’t simply be multi-tasking but engaging your brain in new ways and improving your memory! Who know needle felting could be so good for your health?!
Of course, anything we do regularly becomes a habit, and in this case, a healthy one. I find that making time for needle felting every day grounds me and gives me a dose of creativity. I’m able to clear my head and let the trouble of the day dissolve into my wool.
In this very real way, I can feel what researchers talk about as “flow state,” or that time where everything else fades into the background and I become immersed in my art. I feel refreshed mentally after even a short time with my needles and wool, so I do believe that’s good for my brain!
If you’re ready to take your needle felting skills to the next level, consider joining the Bear Creek Academy. Not only will you get support from yours truly and a community of talented people, you will also have access to video lessons – many of which you can listen to while you work! So you can improve your needle felting skills and your memory at the same time!