The Therapeutic Link Between Crocheting/Knitting and Mental Health

Introduction

In recent years, the relationship between hobbies and mental health has become a well-documented and significant area of research. In a study by Burns and De Meer (2021), various hobbies, including crocheting, knitting, and painting, have been linked to mental health wellbeing.

Even though engaging in the above hobbies yields beautiful creations, knitting and crocheting fosters relaxation, a sense of accomplishment, anxiety, and stress reduction, among other mental wellbeing benefits. This blog article explores the link between knitting and crocheting and mental health, shedding light on how crafts positively influence knitters’ and crocheters’ psychological and mental wellness.

Below are some of the benefits.

The Meditative Nature of Crocheting/Knitting

One of the key reasons knitting and crocheting are effective for mental health wellness is their meditative qualities. As per McSorley (2018), both of these crafts require rhythmic and repetitive motions that induce the state of mindfulness. 

As knitters and crocheters focus on each lop or stitch, they will likely get immersed in the process, allowing them to enter rest from racing thoughts, anxiety, and stress. In a study by Stewart, this meditative aspect works towards relaxation promotion, offers respite from the day-to-day pressures, and a sense of calm.

A Sense of Accomplishment and Self-Efficacy

The second most common benefit of crocheting and knitting is individuals’ sense of accomplishment after completing their projects. Completing a hat, a scarf, or a pullover brings about a sense of accomplishment and self-efficacy. For people struggling with mental health challenges, including depression and bipolar, completing such projects can be empowering since it reminds them of their capability for productivity and creativity. 

Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Engaging in knitting and crocheting can also lower stress and anxiety levels. As mentioned earlier, the reparative nature of these crafts leads to a calming impact on the nervous system, similar to meditation and mindfulness. In addition, focusing on knitting and crocheting projects shifts individuals’ attention from personal worries and concerns and hence anxiety symptoms reduction.

Social Benefits and Connection

For individuals who do crocheting and knitting in knitting circles and crafting groups, being a member fosters a sense of belonging and social connection. These belongingness and social connections may combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, common among people undergoing mental health struggles.

In these groups, sharing tips, working materials, patterns, and completed projects with group members can create a supportive network and promote wellbeing.

Distraction and Coping Mechanism

During difficult times such as dealing with life-related transitions, loss and grief, or chronic pain, crocheting and knitting work as a constructive distraction. Engaging in these creative processes shifts crocheters’ and knitters’ focus away from stressful emotions and offers an outlet for self-expression.

In addition, the sense of control that knitters and crocheters feel over the crafting project serves as a metaphor for taking charge of their lives, even when facing adversity.

Conclusion

From the above benefits, crocheting and knitting are not merely crafts. On the contrary, they are therapeutic tools that positively impact mental health. The sense of accomplishment, the meditative aspect, and the chance for social connection contribute to crocheters’ and knitters’ wellbeing.

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or seasoned crafter, consider picking up your crochet hook or knitting needles and enjoy these time-honored practices’ profound mental health benefits. Also, remember that you are stitching together a stronger and healthier state of mind with every stitch. Happy knitting and crocheting.

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