Creative Activities Reduce Stress, so if You Need to Relax, Try Coloring, Knitting or Baking

colored pencils - creative activities reduce stress© Nmedia | Dreamstime Stock Photos

“Recent research indicates that creative activities reduce stress and enhance subjective wellbeing.”

– Creative Exchange Wales Network


Researchers have found that engaging in creative activities reduces stress. If you’re of an artistic bent, you probably already know this, but what about us left-brained sorts who are, let’s say, creatively challenged?

A Drexel University study published last summer found that making art can significantly reduce stress-related hormones in your body. Researchers provided study participants with markers, paper, modeling clay and collage materials.

Participants could use any of the materials they liked to create any work of art they wanted. They were not given any directions. Although native artistic ability wasn’t taken into account, the study did confirm that those with only limited experience making art benefited just as much as those with more experience.

A University of New England study showed benefits for craft activities that require less creativity, such as using an adult coloring book. University of Otago researchers found a variety of craft and art activities beneficial.

Those who engaged in these activities, including knitting, crocheting, baking, jam-making, cooking, performing music, painting, drawing, sketching, creative writing and designing digitally, not only felt happier and calmer the following day, but had more energy.

Do you find that engaging in creative activities reduces stress for you?

I'd love for you to share your ideas and experiences.