Knitting and Crocheting Offer Many Mental Health Benefits
A hobby like knitting or crocheting can provide many benefits beyond crafting a scarf or blanket.
Some have likened the practice to meditation, where you focus and stay in the moment. It’s portable, too — have a crochet hook or knitting needles and some yarn on hand and you’ve got an anywhere, anyplace project to while away some time.
Having something tangible, beautiful, and useful that you help bring into existence makes for a nice self-esteem booster, too. Knitting or crocheting can serve as a form of self-expression (some creations, even the ubiquitous doily, serve as legitimate works of art).
Knitting or crocheting can be done for charity — knitting hats for preemies or mittens for the homeless, for example — providing an added sense of purpose we derive from helping others. Or you might craft an heirloom item to pass down from one generation to the next.
Some other benefits of knitting or crocheting include:
- Reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol
- Fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Improves well-being
- Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
- Enhances flexibility (from moving the hands and fingers)
- Distracts from chronic pain
- Helps preserve cognitive function
- Provides a sense of community
Knitting and crocheting can also serve as a healthy distraction. That’s especially helpful if you’re trying to eat less, stop smoking, or quit another vice.
Some people have even said the practice has helped them through their addiction recovery, by reinforcing the virtues of developing patience and maintaining a routine.
Plus, picking up new hobbies and traditions can help with triggers. Instead of drugs or alcohol, this can offer a creative outlet, a place to express yourself. Consider it a form of art therapy.
pieceworkmagazine.com – Love Doilies?
mhanational.org – The Mental Health Benefits of Knitting
well.blogs.nytimes.com – The Health Benefits of Knitting
cnn.com – A man started a knitting group to help people like himself recover from drug addiction
sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Art Therapy and How It Is Being Used to Treat Addiction