How a Woodworking Hobby Can Improve Your Mental Health

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Ever since I stumbled upon woodworking, I realized it was the perfect hobby for me. Whether you’re diving in out of sheer curiosity or a deep-rooted passion, you’re on the right path. I’ve seen beginners blossom into experts, reminding me that we all start somewhere.

Woodworking is as straightforward as it sounds—taking chunks of wood and transforming them into meaningful creations. Trust me, it’s a journey worth embarking on.

You can also join multiple pieces of wood together and even create decorative pieces that serve no actual purpose other than looking good in your home or office space. There are many ways to improve your mental health, but having a hobby is one method that’s both fun and impactful at the same time. 

You can have more than one hobby and even combine them with other helpful practices like therapy, which you can access through MyTherapist or some other similar resource. Woodworking is unique, but so are its benefits.

Keeps Your Brain Active

While woodworking can be a relaxing activity, it requires attentiveness and focus. It is not a mindless pursuit, as precision and accuracy are paramount. Paying close attention to your work is essential to avoid mistakes that can occur more easily when concentration wavers.

woodworking as a hobby
There are some hobbies that are mindless, like listening to music, but they probably won’t do as much for your brain (short or long term) as woodworking can. Woodworking engages the whole brain, even parts you may use less frequently. Activities that work the entire brain tend to help ward off memory loss and even memory conditions like dementia. What other hobbies can boast they do the same?

Gives You a Sense of Purpose

At the end of a woodworking project, you get to hold something you made with your own two hands. It could be a simple decorative piece for your home, or it could be something useful or even life-altering. You can invent and then create anything you think will help make life easier. Whether it’s for your kitchen, bathroom, office, or garage, there is always some new invention just waiting to be made.

At the same time, you can even layout your woodworking plans yourself – aside from referring to guides, allowing you to express what you really want.  

choosing right surface

Every time I craft something that makes my life or the lives of my loved ones easier, the feeling of accomplishment is indescribable. Just picture handing over a handcrafted gift to your spouse, seeing the appreciation in their eyes—it’s priceless.

I firmly believe we all crave a sense of purpose. It’s that drive that propels me out of bed, eager to face the day, and it’s the same drive that carries me through challenges. So, if you’re in search of that spark, diving into a hobby like woodworking might just be your answer.

(Looking for the best woodworking plans for you? Then, you should check my review of Ted’s Woodworking Plans here!)

Forget Your Worries

Hobbies like journaling or listening to music are great, but they may make you dwell on your problems more than forget them at times. Woodworking, on the other hand, allows you to become completely immersed in the project you’re working on. Whether you’re relying on a free woodworking plan or doing it yourself, it’s just a matter of interest and passion at what you do.

There’s very little time or room to think about much else because it requires a lot of focus. Expert woodworkers make intricate crafts and especially tend to zone out when they’re in creation-mode. Breaks from the daily stressors of life greatly benefit your mental health. Everyone needs a chance to relax, focus on something besides the worrisome things of life, and feel a sense of pride in their work.

Dewalt Portable Bandsaw

At the end of the day, a woodworker is likely to get a boost in their self-esteem for what they’ve accomplished making. Positive self-esteem is directly correlated with good mental health. Although anyone can begin a woodworking hobby, it still takes skill, practice, and precision, especially for those who desire to get to the expert level. 

A hobby isn’t about mastering it but about discovering what ignites your passion and brings joy. I’ve often noticed that we sometimes overlook the profound impact of happiness on our mental well-being. But speaking from expertise, those who find genuine joy often boast a more robust mental health.

using pva gue on leather

If you’re someone who’s more social, consider taking up woodworking alongside a friend or family member. It’ll give you a chance to bond with that person and you’ll both be able to learn something new. Be patient with yourself as you go along as some people pick up hobbies more quickly than others. 

If you’re not great at woodworking right away, don’t give up on it so easily. Keep coming back to the shop and giving it another chance. Hopefully, you’ll pick up a lifelong hobby that you can carry with you for the rest of your life and that will impact you in more ways than one. 

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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