Five reasons pottery can completely transform your mental health - The Stratford Observer

Five reasons pottery can completely transform your mental health

Stratford Editorial 28th May, 2024   0

Arts and crafts are a key part of many people’s lives.

They are healthy hobbies and coping mechanisms to the stresses and strains of daily life, whether it be painting, sewing, knitting or anything else.

One hobby that has been growing in the last few years is pottery, a slow, mindful craft that is becoming a huge hit with both men and women alike.

More and more of us are turning to arts and crafts to look after our mental health, with the likes of pottery being encouraged by professionals across mental health clinics, drug rehab centres and beyond.

But why is pottery such a good activity to take up? We understand the five key reasons it can completely transform your mental health…

Mindfulness and Flow

Firstly, pottery is in fact inherently a mindful activity. When you’re working with clay, you need to be fully present in the moment, focusing on its feel, the movement of your hands and the shape in which you want to create.

It becomes a fully immersive experience that can be described as a state of flow, allowing you to escape from your worries and reduce any stresses and anxieties you may have.

Stress Reduction

The tactile nature of pottery has a soothing and grounding effect. Kneading and shaping clay can be a therapeutic release of tension, helping to reduce stress levels. The repetitive actions involved in pottery, such as spinning the wheel or moulding the clay, provide a calming rhythm that can be meditative. This rhythmic activity helps to lower cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone, and induces a state of relaxation. Engaging in pottery allows you to channel negative emotions and stress into a productive and creative outlet, leaving you feeling calmer and more centred.

Boosting Self-Esteem and Confidence

The creation of something and the end result of pottery can be incredibly rewarding and really boost self-esteem and confidence. It can provide a real sense of accomplishment as you essentially transform a lump of clay into something beautiful. And indeed functional.

Whether you decide to keep your item and craft it for a purpose in your own home, or give it away as a gift, there’s pride and achievement to be taken from pottery that can have a profound impact on other areas of your life.

Enhancing Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills

Pottery is a deeply creative endeavour that encourages exploration and experimentation. Engaging in creative activities has been shown to improve mental health by stimulating the brain and promoting cognitive flexibility. Pottery challenges you to think critically and solve problems, whether it’s finding the right balance in a piece, dealing with imperfections, or deciding on glazes and finishes. This creative problem-solving can translate into other areas of life, enhancing your ability to think outside the box and approach challenges with a fresh perspective.

Building Community and Social Connections

Finally, if you’re enjoying pottery from a studio or partaking in a class, it’s actually a great environment to meet like-minded people and make new friends. Often going through rehab or looking after your mental health may mean moving away from old friendship groups that could be detrimental to your health, but that can also lead to loneliness and isolation.

By partaking in activities such as pottery, you can get a real sense of belonging, finding new social connections and a supportive environment that can be a real source of encouragement and inspiration that can really aid your mental health and any recovery moving forward.

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