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Craft for Pleasure, Improve Your Health
Scrapbooking, jewelry-making, art journaling, knitting and other popular crafts — while all these hands-on activities are a pleasant way to spend your off-hours, they provide health benefits, as well. “Studies have shown that at least 75 percent of doctor visits are for stress-related illnesses,” says Victoria Rivera, MD, a physician in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. “Active hobbies can cause your brain to release endorphins (stress- and pain-relieving chemicals) and reduce stress-related hormones (cortisol and adrenalin). The calming effects of these natural stress-reducers in your body usually last for several hours." The National Institutes of Health backs up this claim. Self-care — taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health — can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness and increase your energy, the NIH says. Even the time-out you take to pursue your favorite craft can have an impact.