If you want to keep your mind sharp, learn to quilt! Creative arts are stress relieving and result in a beautiful item, but they also keep your mind challenged, helping you maintain your full mental capacity. They also enable you to feel better about yourself, which simply makes life in Albuquerque, NM easier to enjoy. Here are five reasons it’s worth keeping your brain sharp by quilting:
- Improved memory: Studies show that learning a new skill and practicing it for three months enhances memory function. It works by forcing the brain to retain the new lessons and act on them. Many people who took up quilting and later took a memory test did much better than those who used other ways to improve cognition. Better still, this effect occurs no matter your age—even older adults benefit from continuing to learn and challenge their minds.
- Better mood: Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety reduce cognition. This situation becomes especially apparent as people grow older and more isolated. Creative work like quilting involves doing what you love and saturates your brain with the happy chemicals: serotonin and dopamine. If you face anxiety and depression, quilting makes symptoms easier to handle, and it may prevent them entirely for some people. Also, without the stress of these conditions, you find it easier to think through things and keep your mind sharp as you enjoy a creative endeavor.
- Social aspect: Quilting always contained a social element. Whether it’s just sitting around and stitching or attending a class, quilting encourages you to leave your house. While this is more difficult with COVID-19, you can take online courses to learn techniques and make connections who speak with you frequently. Since older adults tend to become more isolated, even going to a fabric store for more quilting supplies is a significant improvement over being homebound. Whether brief, online or different from the traditional quilting bee, these social interactions help with mental cognition.
- Sharpen spatial perception: Quilting involves combining colors, but also fitting shapes together. These matching tasks help you with spatial perception and challenge your mind further. Not only do you learn to match letters and backgrounds, but this spills over to things like organizing kitchen cabinets better or even improving your general problem-solving skills. Moving around shapes and colors and seeing how they fit allows another avenue for you to develop brainpower.
- Stress reduction: Stress places you in a constant fight-or-flight mode, making little space for logical thought. These days, the news is often enough to put people on edge, and that compounds if you are vulnerable to COVID-19 and locked in your home. Fortunately, sewing and quilting prove to be excellent stress reducers. They put you in another world where you can simply be, and in this quiet, you become a better problem solver and experience less stress. That is also very good for your brain!
The Quilt Works, Inc. has been keeping brains sharp for quilting in Albuquerque, NM for over 40 years. We sell quilting supplies, fabric and kits, and offer classes, too. Call us today to learn more and start having fun with quilts!