Health Benefits of Woodworking — How It Can Support Your Mental Health

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If you’ve never heard of woodworking, it may just be an activity you should look into. Especially for those that need a new hobby, woodworking can be a great option. It involves cutting and putting wood pieces together in order to form useful or decorative items. You can create cabinets, sculptures, picture frames, toys, and more.

Woodworking has many positive health benefits, including acting as a form of therapy. In other words, it boosts your mental health all while keeping you entertained. You might be thinking: how would something like woodworking improve my mental state? On the outset, it doesn’t seem like an activity that could contribute to better well-being, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is that woodworking can greatly improve anyone’s mental health for a variety of reasons. Of course, it’s no substitute for actual therapy with a professional. If you ask me, resources like MyTherapist can connect you with a counselor if you need more assistance with your mental health. However, you should still give woodworking a try.

It Keeps Your Brain Stimulated

Over the years, our brains can start to be more forgetful and prone to overall decline. A hobby like woodworking has the potential to halt that process, even if just a little. Woodworking engages our brain in a manner that requires our full attention. Picking up new skills is shown to decrease the likelihood of becoming forgetful and will keep you sharper even as you age. Luckily, woodworking is a hobby anyone of any age can enjoy.

For more useful information, read this article and learn the mental health benefits of woodworking

operating a circular saw to cut granite

It’s a Creative Outlet

In my years of woodworking, I’ve found that it offers me the freedom to craft anything I can imagine, provided it’s made from wood. Tapping into my creativity has been a genuine boon for my mental well-being. It not only centers and soothes my mind, but I’ve also noticed a significant reduction in stress and anxiety. Truly, in woodworking, there’s no ceiling to one’s creative potential.

(To channel your creativity, you can check my review of Ted’s Woodworking Plans for endless ideas about woodworking) 

It Keeps You in the Present Moment

Have you ever been so focused on a task you forget where you are and what you’re even doing? Such is the case with woodworking. It requires a lot of concentration, but often it’s very easy and mindless to keep your attention on the activity. This is because woodworking demands close attention to detail. You simply can’t afford to look away. 

cutting log with Makita-UC4051A

Not only could looking away cause you to make a mistake, but it could lead to an injury depending on the types of tools you’re using. Most woodworkers will place a high value on the items they’re creating, so no one will want to take the chance of messing up. 

Messing up means a loss of wood, and therefore money, but also time, effort, and something unique that you had created with your own two hands.

It Gives You Something to Master

I’ve seen some individuals take to new activities like fish to water, while others need a bit more time to find their stride. When it comes to woodworking, we all begin at the starting line. Personally, I believe there’s no need to hurry through the enriching journey of mastering the craft.

Over time, you’ll pick up numerous woodcraft terms, skills, and techniques for even more intricate creations. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel after weeks, months, and years into practicing will compel you to keep striving to be better.

( For more positive impact of woodworking, you can also check the great effects of woodworking on mental health)

It Keeps You Occupied

One of the wonderful aspects of woodworking is its flexibility in terms of time commitment. Whether you have the luxury of dedicating daily hours or can only spare occasional sessions, woodworking accommodates your availability. Regardless of frequency, once you immerse yourself in woodworking, you’ll discover that it captivates your attention for extended periods.

 Some prefer to create lots of little items while others like working on the same large project for months. Creating little things here and there can make you feel more accomplished, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to spare. There’s always something new to learn, so it’s doubtful you’ll find yourself getting bored. And if you’re looking for other creative activities you can try at home, you can find a list here.

woodworking as a hobby

Are you convinced that woodworking is worth a shot? Whether your answer is yes or no, it never hurts to try something new. It’s perfectly acceptable to give woodworking a try before committing to it as a forever hobby. Many woodworkers are so passionate about their hobby they’d be happy to give you a little preview into how it all works. 

I’ve come to realize the importance of finding a lifelong passion. Should you discover that woodworking resonates with you, you’ll likely find a supportive community of like-minded enthusiasts right in your neighborhood. 

A strong community has always been a cornerstone of mental well-being, and woodworking might just be the gateway to that. It’s essential to remember, though, that this should be a joyous endeavor, not a task borne out of obligation. Here’s to many fulfilling hours of crafting!

robert headshot

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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