Back to the manual and the handmade: a remedy against anxiety and depression of our time

Manual activities generate dopamine, favor the state of mindfulness and give value to "the small and the everyday"

Simplicity is a luxury that we must cultivate now more than at any time. The overstimulation of advertising, gadgets, digital life, have made us spend hours in front of a device consuming information, in the best case scenario, but most of the time we waste time observing the lives of others in real time people. And more and more, we have lost the ability to be amazed by everyday things.

As in no other time, the digital era has also distanced us from manual activities, we have left them in the plane of what we prefer to pay someone else to do it: clean the house, water or take care of the plants, use our leisure for something creative that involves our attention and the comforting repetition of movements (such as knitting, drawing, or simply patching a sock); fix what has broken down without thinking within two seconds of replacing it with a new one.

And beyond the superficiality involved in enclosing ourselves in eternal lapses of pseudo-information consumption through our devices, there is one factor that we are losing through: the therapeutic qualities that result from doing something with our own hands. In general, these types of activities require our attention (for what is thought, but only as from afar, for which it is very relaxing for the mind), but, in addition, by doing something manual your mind generates dopamine, the reward hormone, which is very pleasant. These activities promote a state similar to mindfulness .

We share some benefits of manual activities that we have been delegating and that are perfect to stop immersing yourself in overinformation and have a moment with you so as to reduce the anguish, stress, depression and other emotions that are typical of this accelerated time :


For psychologist Lisa Bahar, one of her most recurring recommendations to her patients is cooking, since they focus on the present moment but surrounded by stimuli. When making a salad, for example, "Start by observing the skin's inputs, color, texture, smell, " he recommends. It is proven that cooking (without haste) reduces stress and promotes the enjoyment of the moment.

Do gardening

The benefits of gardening for the mind are so proven that, in fact, a therapy called horticulture has been born and developed to help people with psychiatric problems. It contributes greatly to reduce anxiety, and will make you rest better when you sleep.

To knit

The repetitive movement of knitting, in line with the feeling of creating something, causes the body to generate dopamine (the reward neurotransmitter), endorphins (which produce a feeling of well-being, also released during exercise) and serotonin (associated with good humor). The benefits of knitting have been linked to those of meditation.


This playful activity promotes mindfulness and helps reduce stress. In addition, as Jung warned at the time, drawing and coloring figures as mandalas is a powerful tool of healing and, also, relaxation and lucidity. We recommend this occult book for coloring.

Now, while all this will help you to return to simplicity, you have to remember that life is many bittersweet moments, and the most necessary to have a better quality of life is to give meaning to what is really worth; Simplicity is undoubtedly a good start.