Ever wonder why making something like a home-cooked meal or fixing something around the house feels like one of the most satisfying achievements? Accomplishing tangible, hands-on tasks is not only good for your wallet, but your brain as well.
By doing meaningful work with your hands, your brain is flooded with dopamine and serotonin, creating the sense of pleasure. Our bodies are programmed to release these natural antidepressants as a reward for working with our hands, and in an attempt to motivate us to do it more. Dr. Kelly Lambert, the chair of the psychology department at Randolph-Macon College, explains the following:
“…our brains are programmed to derive a deep sense of satisfaction and pleasure when our physical effort produces something tangible, visible and — this fact is extremely important — meaningful in gaining the resources necessary for survival.”
Think about ways that you can be creative and work with your hands. Are there things you can do around the house? Do you have a list of things that you mean to get done, but were thinking of hiring someone to do it? Decide on the things that you know you can accomplish and be successful at. Then break your tasks up into bit size pieces that can be accomplished in less than 30 minutes. Schedule each of those tasks at least three times a week, in order to ensure maintaining that fantastic feeling. By doing this, you’ll not only save money but make your brain and body happy and increase your self-esteem.