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Everyone knows how important it is to stay healthy as you age. Well guess what, there was an article published in the Journal of Public Health that showed making quilts is beneficial to your long-term health. In addition to daily exercise, eating your fruits and vegetables, and volunteering for a good cause, pursuing creative arts like quilting can provide multiple health benefits for your brain and your mood. There was an article published in the Journal of Public Health about a study which showed that the process of making quilts helps your cognitive, creative and emotional well-being, especially among older adults. Now we have another excuse to make more quilts!

While you’re engaged in doing something you love, your brain is saturated with the neuro-transmitters dopamine and serotonin, known as “the happy chemicals.” This reaction is especially powerful when you’re creating something using your hands. It is a craft that provides challenges with every new skill you learn – choosing colors, measuring and cutting angles, piecing curves, strip piecing, applique, English paper piecing, foundation paper piecing, trapunto, crazy quilting, embroidery and embellishment. There is always something new to learn! And then there’s also the social aspect of quilting bees and guilds! Getting together for meetings and sewing circles, working on charitable projects, planning and attending shows with fellow quilters. These are all good for your health!

And then there is the stress relief provided by quilting. This was actually what drew me into the hobby of quilting. I needed a stress relief from my crazy, chaotic life. Concentrating and focusing on what you are currently doing provides a relaxation effect the same as meditation. It has been compared to the relaxing effects of coloring mandalas. Selection of colors for specific shapes in a quilt pattern taps into the analytical part of the brain, while creating the overall color mix uses the brain’s creative side. We all know the importance of exercising your brain. Every step of the process involves concentration and focus. The state of concentration keeps your brain active while giving it a break from everyday thoughts, thus reducing stress. When compared to other activities like playing cards, playing video games, painting, sewing, and reading, sewing and quilting appeared to be the most relaxing for the brain. The act of sewing and quilting is incompatible with anger, worry, obsession and anxiety.

So there you have it, it has been scientifically proven that quilting is good for you!

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