Woodworking can be quite challenging, but many people find it incredibly relaxing as well. For many this is much more than just a hobby—it is a way to stay sane. From depressed individuals to veterans with PTSD, woodworking has the potential to help almost anyone heal. As strange as it may seem as a form of therapy, it can be very effective.
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 really not that difficult to get started. 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 need a way to get relief from your own particular brand of suffering, this is an excellent place to start.
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.
It is Peaceful and Provides Relief
Many people who have taken on woodworking as a hobby find it to be very peaceful. 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. There is a huge sense of pride that comes with creating even something as small as a pencil holder or bird house.
It Puts You in Control
Those with PTSD and other debilitating mental health problems find woodworking attractive because it makes them feel in control. 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.
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.
It’s Easy (sort of)
Woodworking can be quite easy and simple once you get the hang of it. The level of difficulty depends on what exactly you want to make. There are plenty of small things that you can create that don’t require a ton of skill. 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.
The Science Behind Art Therapy
Numerous studies have shown that there is a difference in brain activity between just looking at art and actually 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.
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. This tool 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 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 bar clamps and spring clamps on hand at all times.
- Easy projects for beginners: There are different levels of woodworking projects, however, you should start with beginners' projects.
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. 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.