5 Ways Knitting is Good for Your Emotions

· April 5, 2018

Knitting, or “knitting therapy.” Call it what you like, but researchers have discovered that this activity is very good for you and your emotions. Whether you decide to knit a sweater, a blanket, or a bib, you end up with something beautiful and your emotional health is benefited at the same time. Interesting, isn’t it?

In fact, author Kathryn Vercillo, expert in therapeutic crafts, has researched the subject. As a result of her research, she wrote a book called Crochet Saved My Life. She dedicates a large part of her professional work to demonstrating the benefits that handiwork offers.

Why does knitting have emotional benefits?

Some treatment plans explicitly incorporate knitting. It seems like it helps keep our brains agile and also improves emotional stability. Let’s take a closer look at knitting and your emotions…

A woman knitting with red yarn.

Knitting is a destressor

It seems a bit contradictory, but it’s not. Knitting is actually wonderful for reducing anxiety, worrying, and high levels of stress. But why?

It’s because knitting takes quite a lot of concentration. When you focus on the knitting needles, everything else disappears. Your problems fade into the background. In fact, it’s a great technique for getting your emotions under control. That’s because while you’re in the act of knitting, it’s hard for negative emotions (like sadness, anger, and resentment) to take over.

“There’s a lot of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven’t the time to enjoy it.”

-Josh Billings-

Knitting makes your brain more agile

This particular benefit is easy to explain. Crochet and other knitting techniques demand hand-mind coordination. When you put your brain to work, it learns to work in a more “refined” way. Consequently, it is an excellent hobby for the elderly. Researchers believe that exercising certain psychological process (like sustained attention) delays some symptoms of aging. 

It also helps improve a person’s fine motor skills. As a result, overall hand-eye coordination improves as well. Knitting therapy is good for children with motor disorders. It is also helpful for people with arthritis.

Knitting for social skills

Can an activity that takes concentration also have social benefits? The answer is yes. We’ve probably all seen our grandmas get together with a group of friends to knit.

Although our society lost the social aspect of knitting for some time, it’s coming back. Whether through classes or therapy itself, knitting is coming back into style. It’s great news because of what a great “excuse” it is for sharing ideas and spending time with other people.

A group of friends knitting colorful crafts together.

It relieves depression

Knitting is also wonderful for people with depression. That’s because when you’re knitting, your body releases serotonin, a natural antidepressant. At least, that’s what a study from the British Journal of Occupational Therapy found. The study showed that 81% of participants demonstrated marked improvement in serotonin levels after knitting for a period of time.

Knitting for better self-esteem

Another wonderful thing about knitting is that it improves the knitter’s self-esteem. After all, they’re learning a new skill and doing something that feels productive. In addition, making things for friends and family, doing something for others, does wonders for your self-esteem.

When you knit, you are also expressing yourself. It’s a way to let your creativity out, a chance to make something useful, beautiful, maybe “you.” As a result, you feel proud of your work and yourself.

“Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.”

-Frank Tyger-

It helps you sleep better

Insomnia is a growing worldwide health issue. In general, we sleep poorly due to stress, tension, and anxiety. In spite of the current discouraging numbers, there are ways we can improve our sleep.

Herbert Benson, professor at the Mind/Body Medical Institute, revealed that 90% of his patients saw improvement with therapy that included knitting. It seems that focusing on a repetitive activity has a calming and relaxing effect. As a result, you go to bed relaxed, tension-free, and ready to truly rest.

Knitting

 

In conclusion, knitting is undeniably good for you. Is it time you pick up some needles?