It seems like DIY is everywhere these days, and technology has made it even easier to DIY things we never would have thought of before! You can go online and find a tutorial to do just about anything from refurbishing an old dresser, to creating a vertical garden, or baking a cake that looks like a hedgehog. But really, DIY is nothing new. Before manufacturing and consumerism flourished, DIY was the status quo. You didn’t just go to the store and buy some soap, you got the lard out and made it yourself!
Isn’t it interesting that in a world where literally anything and everything is at our fingertips, we are still drawn to making things with our own hands? Rather than go to the store and buy a lamp, we will spend twice as much money on materials and countless hours constructing some sort of Mason jar light formation.
But why would we do that? There’s just something so satisfying about creating.
Over the past decade there have been more and more studies on the effects of creating and creativity, helping us to better understand why we are drawn to these sorts of activities. One such study was done by the American Journal of Public Health in 2010 titled, The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health. Essentially, the findings of this review are that the process of creating is good for you.
And so, compiled from various different sources/articles, the following is 10 reasons why DIY is Good for You.
1. A Creative Life is a Happy Life
Creating helps make people “happier, less anxious, more resilient and better equipped to problem-solve in the face of hardship” (A. Enayati). A study by the British Journal of Occupational Therapy surveyed 3,500 knitters worldwide. “The results show a significant relationship between knitting frequency and feeling calm and happy,” the study reports. Imagining and creating also give us a sense of purpose. We crave this sense of purpose and when we don’t have it, we are missing an integral link to a happy life.
2. It Cultivates Your Social Life and Gives You a Connection to Other People
People bond through common experiences and interests. By creating with other individuals you are enhancing your social life, which contributes to the well-being and quality of your life. DIY also cultivates richer relationships. Shared interests bring people together, and DIY projects encourage these special connections.
3. It Makes Us Physically Healthier
Cathy Malchiodi (Psychology Today): “As of 2015, additional studies indicate that creative self-expression and exposure to the arts have wide-ranging effects on not only cognitive and psychosocial health, but also physical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, various forms of dementia and cancer. One of the most compelling studies was recently conducted by the Mayo Clinic and proposed that people who engage in art activities (painting, drawing and sculpting; crafts, like woodworking, pottery, ceramics, quilting, quilling and sewing) in middle and old age may delay cognitive decline in very old age.”
4. You Feel More Gratitude
Because creating things may be challenging and time-consuming to make, you will pay more attention to the things you buy and appreciate them more than before. Likewise, you will have a deeper appreciation and feel more gratitude for the things in your possession because you will know the type of work and skill that went into creating that item. According to an article on Gratitude from Dartmouth, “Daily discussion of gratitude results in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and sleep duration and quality. Grateful people also report lower levels of depression and stress, although they do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.”
5. A Path to Financial Independence
A number of DIYers succeed in turning their passion for making things from a hobby into a business. Just Google “Etsy Success” and you’ll get an unending amount of results. What’s more, for those DIYers who are able to become self-employed, they have the opportunity to build a creative career with a flexible schedule that is adaptable to their family’s schedule. This is undeniably one of the most highly sought after dispositions for many people.
6. We Cherish Things We Build
Building something with your hands is always a satisfying feeling. According to Psychology Today, it also adds value to an object's worth and that building things yourself makes you value them higher.
The act of building something, putting your own blood and sweat (and if we're being honest, plenty of frustrated swearing) into a physical object, seems to imbue it with additional value above and beyond its inherent quality, which the researchers dub the "IKEA effect." For instance, in one study, participants who built a simple IKEA storage box themselves were willing to pay much more for the box than a group of participants who merely inspected a fully built box. Participants in another study who constructed their own origami frogs and cranes valued them roughly five times as much as another group of participants thought they were worth. The increased value is not just about effort, but about completion, as built-then-disassembled and incomplete projects received no such benefit.
7. You Do Good Deeds By Helping to Save the Planet (Which Feels Pretty Darn Good!)
Not only can DIY save you cash at times, but it can help to save the planet through recycling and upcycling. Creating and making things yourself also gives you a sense of pride and defines your personal style – it allows you to stand out from the crowd and decorate a home that is not like everyone else’s. (Helen Edwards, Houzz)
8. It Relieves Stress
CNN reports that creative activities impact the body in a way similar to meditation. It’s like yoga for your brain. Decreasing stress protects your overall health and wellness. According to the American Journal of Public Health, numerous chronic diseases, including heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s, are associated with high stress levels.
9. It Improves Your Mood
Creative activities have been shown to improve overall emotional health. The AJPH notes that creativity increases our control over emotional pain and depression. This is due to the self-reflection and greater understanding of oneself that often comes with making. You’re connecting with yourself in a way that you couldn’t otherwise. Similarly, PLOS found that creative activities can mold personality traits—known as “psychological resilience”—in a way that helps you handle outside stressors.
10. You are the Best Version of You
The happiest and healthiest people keep their minds and bodies active, and DIY activities are a perfect way to do both. Working with your hands is an easy, natural way to get your heart rate up—and who doesn’t love that empowering feeling of creating something on your own? (DreamFearlessly). By maintaining an active and creative lifestyle you will have a more holistically fulfilling life, better relationships, less stress, more mindfulness, better health, and overall a more happy life.
So what are you waiting for?? Dare to DIY or pick up a new creative endeavor, and strive to create more than you consume for the best version of you.
To get started on your DIY project, try one of the TizzyBits Kits below!
I read many wonderful articles to compile the above list. Please see below:
Dartmouth, U. O. (n.d.). The Importance of Gratitude. Retrieved November 03, 2016, from https://www.umassd.edu/counseling/forparents/reccomendedreadings/theimportanceofgratitude/
By doing it yourself you can only improve yourself. If things go wrong, this is even better (believe it or not). (n.d.). Why Do It Yourself? Retrieved November 03, 2016, from http://sound.whsites.net/why-diy.htm
Why DIY Is Good For You - Veneta Blinds. (2015, August 12). Retrieved November 3, 2016, from https://www.venetablinds.com.au/blog/why-diy-is-good-for-you-n13
Edwards, H. (2014, September 28). Why DIY is Good for Your Soul, Not Just Your Home - Houzz. Retrieved November 4, 2016, from http://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/31502370/list/why-diy-is-good-for-your-soul-not-just-your-home
Klosowski, T. (2012, September 14). Why DIY Projects Feel Better than Store-Bought Ones. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://lifehacker.com/5943267/why-diy-projects-feel-better-than-store-bought-ones
Frauenfelder, M. (2010, May 28). The Courage to Screw Up: Why DIY Is Good for You. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-frauenfelder/home-diy-the-courage-to-s_b_589371.html
Carter, T. J. (2012, September 13). The IKEA Effect: Why We Cherish Things We Build. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/make-your-mind/201209/the-ikea-effect-why-we-cherish-things-we-build
Malchiodi, C. (2015, December 31). Creativity as a Wellness Practice. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201512/creativity-wellness-practice
Nunez, K. (2016, January 14). 5 PROVEN WAYS CREATIVITY IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://verilymag.com/2016/01/mental-emotional-health-creativity-happiness
Enayati, A. (2012, May 26). A creative life is a healthy life. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/25/health/enayati-innovation-passion-stress/index.html
Clear, J. (2016). Make More Art: The Health Benefits of Creativity. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://jamesclear.com/make-more-art
Taylor, S. (2013, July 21). The Power of Purpose. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201307/the-power-purpose