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Psychological benefits of scrapbooking

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When observing someone who is immersed in the art of scrapbooking, the viewer feels that there is more going on than participating in a hobby. Embedded in photos and memorabilia, the hobbyist seems to rise above the current stress of life, since the task offers a mental break from the demands of the day. Scrapbooking is shared with loved ones or friends and is also a way to spend time together and share ideas behind a single purpose.

But don’t just accept an insider’s words. In fact, the Craft and Hobby Association emphasizes the “therapeutic benefits” of this particular hobby. The association estimates that people in 35 percent of U.S. households regularly enjoy scrapbooking and enjoy therapeutic rewards. There is also an advantage that should not be overlooked: pride in a finished product or the entire scrapbook itself.

The benefits of scrapbooking have long been used by the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which started a therapeutic scrapbooking program for parents 10 years ago. A study published in the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, analyzing the impact of scrapbooking sessions, found that they promote hope and help parents expand their support network. The study highlights an unprecedented benefit of scrapbooking.

“Although the craft of scrapbooking is widespread, its use as a tool for psychiatric professionals is only just beginning to develop,” said Paul McCarthy, a social worker from St. Jude. “I hope our experience in St. Jude encourages others to try different environments with a variety of different groups, both young and old.”

The association and St. Jude are obviously convinced of the lifelong advantages of scrapbooking. While there are most likely too many to list, these benefits usually fall into one of five areas.

The first is the benefit of giving or the joy you get when you create a unique piece that requires great thought and sharing memories.

The next is the recording of past and future events for people to remember important occasions and life events that help define individuals and families in a unique way.

The calm and reflective mindset that comes with scrapbooking is a third advantage. In a culture where medication is often the first way to fight anxiety, scrapbooking offers a meaningful and soothing break from life’s stress.

The advantage of normalizing traumatic events like divorce, illness, and death by placing memories in a coherent yet expressive order is a fourth advantage. In this way, scrapbooking not only promotes self-expression, but also self-healing and a feeling of inner peace, as the people in St. Jude found out.

In summary, it can be said that self-worth consists in putting the finishing touches on a signature project that, like the person who created it, is an inimitable creation. And this advantage, as every experienced scrapbooker will confirm, is one of the greatest advantages of all: it is a fun, rewarding hobby that will give you hours of fun after the book is finished.

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