Thursday, February 5, 2009

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Gaylen, Alviana, Summerset, Kristine, Gwen, Debbie, Miss Linda, Emily and Sarah for talking back to my confession last Friday! I told about a research study that found that sewing really is physically relaxing, and asked how something that could be so challenging and (at times) frustrating could also be relaxing.

The responses were very thoughtful and insightful, and it's worth reading them directly, if you have a minute (link here).

Of course, I'll summarize for you. ;)

There were two aspects of sewing that emerged as the clear front-runners. Six people explicitly called out the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing something and either wearing it yourself or seeing another wear it. I know that the concrete nature of the produce is important to me, because most of the "products" in the rest of my life are much more abstract (like giving a good presentation).

The second most frequently mentioned feature of sewing (called out by five people) is the fact that sewing allows us to set aside the cares and worries of our daily lives and escape into a private world. People pointed out that things "slow down" and we can control more in this sewing world.

And there were a number of other reasons identified. Three people mentioned sewing satisfying their creative urges. A couple of people called out enjoying the processes of problem solving and learning that are inherent in sewing. The exposure to beautiful fabrics and the calming, repetitive motion of the activities were also mentioned.

The notion of competition was brought up, and how sewing doesn't have the same level of competition that, for example, a video game does. While it is certainly possible to compare your sewing to others and feel disappointed or proud, I do think that sewing sets you up to make the most reasonable and fair comparison possible - comparing yourself to yourself in the past. In other words, instead of asking "Am I as good as X?", asking "Am I learning? Am I getting better?".

Finally, Sarah had the most amazing story of her personal experience of the physical benefits of sewing. Sewing has actually helped her recover from asthma attacks!

I think there's no doubt that sewing can have a beneficial effect on our minds and our bodies. Thank you again to everyone who took the time to share her thoughts about how and why this happens with us! :)

Photo credit: Stein Eriksen Lodge