You know that feeling when you look down at something you’ve made with your own hands? This feeling is a little bit of pride combined with the satisfaction of completing a challenge.

When you make arts and crafts, you get this feeling, plus the added bonus of creating something that has personal and emotional meaning to you.

Quilting and other crafts like knitting also offer continuous challenge that keeps your brain active and alert. In fact, quilting has been associated with improvements in memory. How can something as simple as quilting boost your memory? Researchers believe that participating in engaging activities over time tasks the brain's strategic and organizational capabilities.

Crafts can also reduce stress, another way to reduce your risk for cognitive decline. And when you make crafting a social activity, the brain enrichment you get from interacting with others can offer another layer of brain protection.

Want to learn to quilt but not sure how to start? Check your local craft or fabric store for classes. Libraries and community centers often host craft or quilting circles. If getting out of the house isn’t an option for you, search for online video tutorials.