Everything You Need to Know About Woodworking as a Form of Therapy

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In my years of experience, I’ve often found woodworking to be both challenging and incredibly soothing. For me and many others, it’s not just a hobby—it’s a lifeline that keeps us grounded. I’ve seen its healing effects firsthand, from helping those battling depression to assisting veterans with PTSD.

While it might sound unexpected, woodworking has genuinely been a therapeutic outlet for many.

Who Can Benefit From Woodworking Therapy?

Anyone can potentially benefit from taking up woodworking as a new hobby. Despite what most people think, it’s not that difficult to get started. Ideas for DIY plywood projects are aplenty, and even simpler creations.

woodworker operating a machine

Those with depression, PTSD, substance abuse problems or other issues can use this hobby to change their lives, even if it’s in a small way. If you are seeking solace from your unique struggles, I can sincerely recommend delving into woodworking as an excellent starting point. It’s been a refuge for many, offering a respite from their pain.

Benefits Of Woodworking As Therapy

There are many different reasons to choose woodworking as a therapy, and it is important that you know what some of them are, even before picking your first good scroll saw.

It Is Peaceful And Provides Relief

Many people who have taken on woodworking as a hobby find it to be very peaceful. Some even purchase books including the best 2 Story Gambrel Shed Plan once they passed the beginner’s level. There is just something very relaxing about the monotony of measuring out pieces of raw material, cutting them up and turning them into something beautiful.

It Gives You A Sense Of Purpose

Another reason that woodworking has caught on as a form of therapy is because of the sense of purpose it instills in those who do it. You might be surprised at just how better you will feel after you make something with your own two hands. Certainly, making woodworking as a hobby is beneficial to your mental health

hands on wooden table

There are outstanding woodworking classes available online which are therapeutic giving you a deeper sense of purpose, as well. There is a huge sense of pride that comes with creating even something as small as a pencil holder or birdhouse.

It Puts You In Control

Those with PTSD and other debilitating mental health problems find woodworking attractive because it makes them feel in control. Woodworking is also a good way to cope with depression. This sense of control can be very soothing, and it’s not something that people have very often in general. You can decide exactly what you want to make and how to make it. You may try making a beautiful sofa wood flowers initially, and progress to a more challenging wood projects. 

It Serves As A Distraction

Sometimes the best way to deal with stress or depression is to find a temporary distraction. Woodworking is a healthy distraction that will make you feel productive every time you engage in it. Many people are shocked at how quickly time passes while they are doing this type of work in their basement or garage. Plus, learning how to operate a professional-level hybrid table saw takes energy and focus.

It’s Easy (Sort Of)

From my years at the workbench, I’ve come to realize that woodworking is incredibly rewarding, and like any skill, it becomes smoother with practice. Certainly, the challenge often hinges on a project’s intricacy. But here’s the good news: there’s a plethora of small-scale projects perfectly tailored for novices. They’re a great way for newcomers to get a feel for the craft and steadily gain confidence.

teaching kids woodworking

If you want to stick to making the simple little things, that is perfectly fine. Many people who start this hobby do eventually find themselves moving on to creating bigger and better things though. They even use the best available woodworking software in most of their projects. 

The Science Behind Art Therapy

Numerous studies have shown that there is a difference in brain activity between just looking at art and creating it. When a person is making art themselves, there is a very specific chemical reaction that takes place. This chemical reaction often leads to a reduction in stress, causing a general feeling of well-being. There is no question that woodworking is a form of art, so it certainly applies.

Getting Started

If you are interested in woodworking as therapy, there are a few items you will need, including:

  • Hammer: You will use this tool a lot in woodworking, but there are many different kinds. The weight or style of hammer you use really isn’t all that important, especially if you are just starting out.

  • Tape Measure: Make sure that you pick yourself up a 25′ tape measure. Having reliable tape measure for woodworking will help you make accurate cuts with your manual and power tools.

  • Speed Square: If you ever need to draw a perpendicular line on the fly, there is nothing like a speed square and a woodworker’s pencil to get the job done properly.

  • Utility knife: This is another very useful tool that will come in handy for everything from cutting away splinters to scoring lines.

  • Clamps: It is a good idea to have a couple of high-performing clamps for woodworking including bar clamps and spring clamps on hand at all times.

  • Saw: You would need a cutting tool, but you don’t need to start with intimidating ones like a hybrid table saw. A simple hand saw or scroll saw would suffice. The best compact circular saws can also help you get started.

  • Easy projects for beginners: There are different levels of woodworking projects, however, you should start with beginners’ projects.

Final Thoughts

If you want to get relief from the mental/emotional pain you are feeling at any given time, woodworking is a good hobby to try. It doesn’t require a huge time or financial investment, and it could change your life for the better. 

You may start with a simple woodworking book or a simple online kit especially if you find a professional chainsaw intimidating. You may also create your own woodshop with the right layout in the comfort of your home. Millions of people enjoy doing this sort of work every day because of all the benefits it has to offer. You should take all of this information into consideration before making a decision.

To know how great woodworking is, you can also check the health benefits of woodworking here. Read next! 

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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