Could Pottery Be the Secret to Effective Stress Relief?

Person throwing pot on a pottery wheel

We could rattle off stress-avoidance tactic after stress-avoidance tactic all day, but let’s be real – the chances of actually dodging any and all forms of stress are slim. Very slim. Whether we like it or not, stress is something of an inescapable reality. And in many cases, that isn’t such a bad thing. But when stress goes from being a positive motivator to an inhibitor, it might be time to tackle the issue head-on. That could mean taking part in any of the usual stress-relieving activities, from a boxing class to a meditation session. And now, you might have one more stress-busting option to add to the roster: pottery.

According to The New York Timesgetting your hands dirty at a pottery wheel is the newest form of self-care that’s been on the rise in recent months. What’s the connection between throwing a pot and relaxing, you wonder? Apparently, the engaging process of creating something with your own two hands – especially when clay gives you a little resistance at the onset – can act as a form of near-meditation in itself, and the studio as a kind of “sanctuary,” according to Urooj Khan, 29, a corporate lawyer who turned to pottery after a breakup several years ago.

“I would spend entire weekends at the wheel,” Khan told the Times. “Clay requires a lot of presence. There are so many subtle movements that require attention and precision, all the more so when you are a beginner. And that was a relief. My brain hurts after long days at the firm, poring over documents and law treatises, and being at the wheel releases that stress.”

Now, we’re not likely to trade in our stress-busting HIIT or vinyasa sessions anytime soon, but on days when your usual training regimen isn’t quite cutting it, you might want to consider adding in a trip to the ceramics studio after your afternoon visit to the yoga studio.