Knitting and crocheting like other crafts and art might look like just fun activities. However, they are more than just hobbies. Crocheting and knitting offer numerous health benefits and enhance general wellbeing. Crafting is therapeutic and is beneficial to healthy individuals, patients and caregivers.
Let’s have a look at some benefits of knitting and crocheting.
1. Knitting and crocheting can slow down symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia
A study conducted showed that engaging in craft hobbies like knitting and crocheting reduces the risk of memory loss by 40% in middle-aged people and by 30-50% in older people. Craft hobbies like knitting are good cognitive exercises that help in exercising and challenging the brain.
Crocheting requires you to follow a certain pattern to create the intended design. The pattern could include knitting a certain number of stitches in some sections, purling some rows and knitting others or even adding a different coloured yarn, all of which require you to engage your brain.
Learning new stitch techniques can delay memory impairment. Knitting and crocheting are not only fun activities but are also fun ways to exercise the brain. Other fun cognitive exercises include playing crosswords, puzzles and learning a new language.
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2. Knitting and crocheting help with anxiety
Knitting has often been recommended for relaxation and stress relief. An international survey conducted shows that engaging in creative and meaningful activities like craft hobbies has a positive impact on psychological wellbeing. Knitters enjoy a sense of calmness which reduces anxiety. 5 Ways To Deal With Anxiety And Panic Attacks
Knitting and crocheting are also recommended for people with eating disorders or other obsessive thoughts because of the calming effects. Since knitting and crocheting involve repetitive motions you’re able to take your mind away from whatever is causing stress and feelings of anxiety.
3. Crocheting and knitting help with insomnia
The repetitive nature of knitting and crocheting is so soothing. Knitting helps you relax your mind and body so you can fall asleep. Additionally, it can also cause fatigue which is good for sleeping. So, the next time you’re struggling with insomnia just pick up yarn and knitting needles or crochet.4 Common Insomnia Causes & How To Prevent Them
4. Knitting and crocheting help with self-esteem
Crafting helps individuals feel more productive. Through visualizing a project and then working on it until you get the final product, a crafter is able to feel productive, express themselves creatively and sometimes even feel useful to others because they give away the products. Compliments on the craft projects can also give a crafter a sense of validation which boosts self-esteem.
Knitting and crocheting are useful skills to pick up especially during vulnerable moments in life. For example, if you’re going through unemployment, heartbreak or any other issue that could cause low-self esteem, crafting helps you gain new skills and help you feel productive.
5. Crafting builds community
Similar to other crafts, knitting and crocheting help you build communities with other people interested in them. You could have a group of friends with whom you knit together or have an online community through social media groups where you share knitting ideas, techniques and projects.
Some group therapies also use crocheting and knitting as part of the therapy session. Knitting helps in such situations because it takes away the focus off the patients, gives the group members a commonality, gives an ice breaker for other serious conversations and gives a sense of community.
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6. Crocheting and knitting help with depression and uplifting moods
Research shows that crafting can act as a natural anti-depressant. Doing something that you enjoy triggers the release of dopamine, resulting in feelings of happiness. Instead of using medication in some instances, enjoyable and repetitive activities like crocheting and knitting can help in tackling depression.
Additionally, crafting shows you that handling a seemingly impossible task is doable thus inspiring facing problems. Before starting a knitting project like knitting a scarf, it seems challenging but once you get started and repeat the motions until you complete results in feelings of accomplishment. Depression makes facing problems difficult but engaging in art and crafts can help an individual tackle another problem.
Crafting also helps in balancing moods. Immersing your thoughts in a creative activity ‘temporarily suspends’ thoughts about other things. So if you were feeling irritable, depressed or angry your mood changes by the time you’re done knitting or crocheting. You’re not only in a better mood but you’re also able to maintain good relationships with other people.
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7. Crafting helps you feel in control
Many times in life we feel like everything is out of control. It could be that you’re struggling with personal problems or you’re feeling helpless because a loved one is going through something that you cannot change. Knitting and crocheting can help you feel like you have one aspect of your life in control.
Crafting allows you to pick out a design, choose the type of yarn, colour, and the type of project which gives you a semblance of control. The feeling of control over one area of life gives you calmness in the chaos and helps you navigate through the other areas better.
Crocheting and knitting offer many benefits
Crafting gives you a creative outlet and offers health benefits. Additionally, crafting utilizes many areas of the brain. Knitting and crocheting involve problem-solving, memory, attention span, visuospatial processing and creativity.
Given the numerous benefits, you should definitely consider picking up knitting or crocheting. You could also recommend it to someone dealing with loss, depression or at risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
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