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Crafting proven to boost self-esteem

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

Since we first started to look for potential collaborators here at Dogma Athens, we were amazed at how many young people were occupied with crafts. Whenever we started a conversation about our aspirations regarding our enterprise, everybody in our circle wanted to introduce us to a friend that was practicing a craft in a professional way!

Always being around creative people, we had an idea about the benefits of being involved with a craft, even as a mere hobby. What was impressive, was that a significant number of people under 40 years of age had a sort of professional occupation with some craft, be it crochet, sewing, pottery, knitting, jewelry making or soap making.

We met most of those individuals and with some of them have established a very fruitful collaboration, that we intend to keep expanding it. Every one of them started a craft as a hobby in order to unwind after a busy day or to maintain contact with their creative side. After all, working on something creative with your hands and mind is well known to benefit your brain as it releases dopamine that makes you feel happy. Also, the feeling of being praised for something you create, especially from your loved ones, and having the opportunity to admire what you create can keep the dopamine flowing.

Also, there are substantial research data showing that crafting can improve our self-efficacy or how we feel about performing particular tasks. According to clinical neuroscientist, Catherine Levisay, “psychologists believe a strong sense of self-efficacy is key to how we approach new challenges and overcome disappointments in life”. So, realizing you can actually finish crocheting that scarf for your best friend, can help your brain tackle the next big exam.

Moreover, as the same scientist continues, because of the fact that most crafts stimulate different areas of the brain at the same time, they are a fascinating way to work your memory and attention span while involving your problem solving and your spatial processing abilities. This can keep your brain flexible and adaptable by increasing its complexity, thus reducing the chance of dementia to as high as 50%.

All the aforementioned benefits, combined with an increased interest about crafting from individuals of all ages worldwide have led to the growth of online and live courses, significant media coverage and establishment of several associations that have set crafting as a trend within the past few years.

It is really interesting how millennials and younger generations rediscover invaluable crafting practices of the past and pursue them either as a hobby, an opportunity for extra income or even a career. Especially in Greece, more and more people come to evaluate traditional handiwork, like embroidery, knitting, crochet, looming, basket weaving etc. Most Greek homes nowadays tend to display family heirlooms crafted by grannies and great grandmothers, instead of keeping them locked in drawers and chests, showing their appreciation.

This connection with our past through culture practices can only help us understand who we are and where we come from and also strengthens our links with neighboring countries, proving that we share certain traditions that underline what we have in common.

Under this spectrum, it is really important to support craftspeople, giving them the opportunity to continue their practice. It's only a win-win situation, where we can benefit from incorporating craft items in our lifestyle that make us feel better and they can keep exploring our rich culture in ways that promote creativity.

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