Tag: pizza

a woman with dark hair making pizza dough in a cedar kitchen with a green and gold background and title hands-on healing

Hands-On Healing

How often do you work with your hands? (And by work, I don’t necessarily mean a job- but just hands-on activities in general.) So many of us sit at a computer all day and sure, typing uses your hands to a degree. But I’m talking about hands-on activities, meaning phsyically moving them around and using those fine motor skills… Have you noticed any benefits to it when you do?

I’ve noticed that if I’m feeling stressed or frustrated, that getting my hands moving in some sort of activity can help me feel better, so I started looking into it. It turns out that these hands-on activities actually affect us in a lot of ways- from our mind to our body to our heart/soul.

I wanted to share some of the things that I learned with you.

When you actively use your hands, you’re creating new neural pathways. This affects how your brain processes information. And so the more pathways you create, the stronger your brain is, meaning you can learn more. You get better at things like problem solving or remembering details.  But there are a lot of other benefits as well.

Improved fine motor skills:

Through participating in activities that use our hands, we’re using our fine motor skills.  The more we use them, the more they improve which means our precision and coordination will get better.

Improved cognitive function:

Many hands-on activities, like puzzles, stimulate your brain and therefore help with cognitive function. There is a definite connection between hand movements and brain activity, so this can help us to strengthen our mind.

Stress reduction:

Hands-on activities usually have a calming effect. These hobbies can help reduce stress as well as help us to relax and focus our attention.

Increased creativity:

Many hands-on activities allow us to create things that were not there before. From actual art (painting, sculpting, doodling) to other creation type activities (baking, writing, dancing), these activities allow for self-expression and can inspire creativity and innovation.

Sense of accomplishment:

You know that feeling when you finish a project and you just feel so proud? You can grab this feeling again and again with these activities, meaning boosted self-esteem and motivation. This leads to a positive mindset which can ultimately change the way you experience life.

Learning and growth:

Hands-on learning can be more effective than passive learning for a lot of us. Actually using your hands and engaging with different materials can help us to understand and remember things more deeply.

Physical health benefits:

Some hands-on activities, like gardening or DIY home improvement projects, can provide some enjoyable exercise. This can improve physical strength and increase flexibility. Plus the serotonin that comes from moving your body.

Mindfulness and focus:

I sort of mentioned this earlier but wanted to highlight it on its own. Hands-on activities often require concentration and focus. This means having to stay present which can help us to detach from stressors, triggers or fears.

Social interaction:

A lot of hands-on activities can be done with a partner or group which can be a lot of fun and deepen relationships.

These are just some of the benefits that come with moving your hands. If you’ve noticed others, I’d love to hear about it- drop it in the comments!

I’d also love to know what some of your favorite hands on activities are.

Mine are drawing, painting, cooking, gardening and puzzles. But the thing that works best for me, and honestly what inspired this training, is baking. I was rolling out some homemade pizza dough and it honestly felt like I could feel all of the tension just leaving my body. It’s such a rewarding experience and it’s also a lot of fun! With that in mind, I figured I’d share the pizza dough recipe that I use with you.

This makes one family size pizza, but I’ve also doubled or tripled it and divided it up for several personal sized pizzas. The personal pizza activity can be a really fun bonding experience to do as a family or a date night or with friends. Have all of the toppings on the table, section the dough off and everyone makes their own. I’ve done it a few times now and it has never not been a good time.

I’ve also used this recipe to make breadsticks, adding just a bit of oil and oregano, maybe a bit of cheese. It’s really hard to go wrong with it.

Ingredients:

• 1 cup warm water
• ½ tbsp. of active dry yeast (one packet)
• 1 tsp sugar
• 2.5 cups flour
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 Cups of mozzarella cheese
• Any wanted seasonings and toppings (oregano, garlic, rosemary, etc)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 and either grease pan or use parchment paper
  • Mix yeast, warm water, and sugar in a bowl and set aside to let bloom. This should take about ten minutes- will look puffy when done.
  • Add flour, oil, salt and mix until smooth. Kneed it for a while until it is mixed well and smooth, not sticky but still has a bounce to it.
  • Let sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll out to your desired shape. You don’t want it so thin that there are holes, but you don’t want it too thick either. It will double in thickness when baking so aim for about as half as thick as you want it.
  • Add your seasonings, sauce, cheese and toppings.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes.

Please let me know if you try it and how it goes! Also, what are your favorite hands-on activities?


And of course, a reminder that if you need a little extra support, I’m your girl. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.