Monday, June 20, 2011
Doing it yourself can not only save you money, but add to your sense of satisfaction in life, as well. The June 2011 edition of Ladies' Home Journal quotes neuroscientist Kelly Lambert and other scientists as saying that hand work fights depression. Meaningful work with your hands releases floods of dopamine and serotonin that make us feel happy and satisfied. The work that best calls forth these happy chemicals is when we use our hands in anything related to survival, particularly regarding shelter and food. You don't have to hunt down game or plow a prairie in order to have this happy effect. Little activities, such as hemming a skirt, grooming your daughter's hair, darning a sock, growing some herbs, dicing onions, and the like signal to our brains that we are taking care of these essential needs. Mending things, repairing things, and otherwise using our hands to ensure that we get the most from our tools and clothes can fit into this category, as well.
The article also notes that doing soothing, repetitive chores with our hands distracts our brains from external stress and gives us some moments to relax mentally.