Two years ago, I met a seamstress who was four times my age. By watching it, I learned a lot. She appreciated my visiting her, and I enjoyed talking to her. She was a bit like the maternal grandmother I knew very little about. Through our discussions, I learned that life then was not simple and that the status of women was very different from today. It is always difficult to compare periods and evaluate which is the best. But only one thing is 100% certain: these were very different times. She loved to tell me the following sentence.
It was a statement she made from her personal experience, but I had no difficulty believing it. We have all been told before that sport is good for mental health, and that keeping busy is a good enough remedy to deal with the hardships, but what is it really like?
Daniel Goleman’s analysis
I don’t know if you know Daniel Goleman, a researcher and writer, but he has done a lot of work on emotional intelligence. Of course, it is not the only one, but it is by far the one who has disclosed it the most. Among other things, it details primitive emotions: joy, sadness, fear and anger. He explains their importance in the primary purpose of the living being, namely to survive and perpetuate life.
He also says that depression is a result of sadness. According to him, sadness is essential to overcome trials and that a being in a state of sadness can recharge his batteries to bounce back. The best way to overcome sadness or anger is to engage in an activity that focuses our attention on something other than our states of mind and the reasons that make us sad.
After watching many documentaries and reading a book about Gabrielle Chanel, I noticed that every time she faced a difficult ordeal (disillusionment at not being able to marry the man she loved, pain when he died in a car accident, fierce competition from other fashion houses, etc.), she took refuge in the workplace.
I then imagined that it was to avoid repeating his dark thoughts and to move forward.
My personal experience
On my side, I’ve already noticed that by being active – even if I tend to want to get under my duvet with a pack of candy and a good movie – my negative feelings disappeared much faster (well, you might say, I wasn’t in depression!).
A little anecdote, the last time, I got carried away by panic about everything I had to do. Between school leaving exams, my company and my boyfriend’s birthday shirt, I was unable to make a decision. Besides, for the shirt, it had already been a month since it was her birthday! The choice involved a renunciation and therefore a negative feeling and guilt. Inaction caused even more negative feelings but seemed to be the most pleasant choice.
Finally, I kicked my ass and started the shirt. Three hours later, I was reboosted, ready to tackle my work pile (well, the shirt wasn’t finished yet).
I understand what the seamstress meant. Sewing is an activity that keeps us active and allows us to turn away from our negative emotions, no matter how much they are.
And you, what is the effect of sewing on you? Do you think that sewing or keeping active can be a way to fight depression or should we always go through treatment? 🙂