Sewing as therapy? Why not? Brother sewing machines in NZ, and any other brand for that matter, are important in helping people feel good about themselves, both physically and mentally. The act of sewing is not just about creating things – for many of us, it’s also about feeling better about things.

Studies suggest that the link between sewing and happiness is virtually undeniable, and for many good reasons. For a start, when we devote our physical and mental faculties to a sewing project, we forget about the everyday problems that are bringing us down, like paying bills, conflicts at the office, or rifts at home. Sewing becomes an act of escapism. It won’t make problems go away, but by not overthinking them and focusing on sewing, we’re giving our subconscious an opportunity to do some problem-solving. It’s a bit like the unsolved and incomplete crossword puzzle. It’s often the case that when you forget about it for a while and do something else, your subconscious will come up with the answers for you. Sewing is a bit like that. It gives you and your brain a chance to sort out life’s puzzles.

In short, being mentally engaged in something that brings you pleasure breaks the cycle of negative thoughts that can overwhelm us. Scientists state that an engrossing hobby is often more useful than just taking an antidepressant, which usually targets just one neurotransmitter. Sewing not only heals, but it also improves the brain’s resistance to future periods of depression. One reason for this is that the craft of sewing reminds our brain, and therefore ourselves, that we’re capable of making things that have a place in our world. It gives us the sense of purpose that we all need to live happier, fulfilled lives.  Neuroscientist Kelly Lambert, who wrote Lifting Depression endorsed this conclusion when he was quoted as saying: “Hands-on work satisfies our primal craving to create solid objects and it could also be an antidote to our cultural malaise(unhappiness).”

There’s more research that shows that sewing develops hand/eye coordination that is good for the brain. It also keeps fingers agile and nimble and is great for our self-esteem when we mend something and make it wearable again, or create a fashionable garment, or a stunning quilt, or even a nice pair of bedroom curtains. That feeling of accomplishment you experience when you regularly see something you’ve made yourself is almost immeasurable. It gets even better when someone else compliments you on what you’ve created.

One more thing, but it’s important. Sewing can provide a vital social outlet. Many people feel isolated from society, a major cause of depression. Many people enrol in a sewing course as a way to break this cycle of loneliness. They don’t necessarily need to learn new skills – but they do need social interaction to escape from that lonely and depressing bubble they’ve been living in for too long.

Sewing machines should be seen as more than handy appliances. For many of us, they’re vital tools in the process of feeling better about ourselves, mentally and physically.

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