Do you suffer from excessive stress? Knitting or crochet may be your perfect therapy
I could tell you about the studies.
Over the past few years — perhaps as knitting and crochet have become increasingly popular as hobbies and pastimes — a surprising number of scientists and journalists have composed studies and articles. And universally, they tell us that knitting and crochet have health benefits that non-crafters might not have ever imagined on their own.
For a sample, check out these articles:
Yes, it’s definitely apparent that science shows us proof that knitting and crochet have health benefits.
Yet, while science can show us the facts, I sometimes think that hearing from real people can make these facts come to life.
So in addition to the facts, I’d like to share with you stories of how knitting and crochet have made life better for many people.
This lovely Lion Brand blog post offers 5 anecdotes from real-life knitters and crocheters (and many, many more, once you dive into the comments section!).
Franklin Habit has tickled our funny bones for years, but in this blog post he gets poignant. He shares a deeply personal story about how knitting enabled him to get through the long illness and subsequent death of his grandmother. Keep the tissues nearby for this one.
I love this very personal blog post about how a writer came to use knitting to deal with her own intense anxiety issues.
Nearly 4 years ago, I reached out to Knitting Nuggets subscribers and asked them to share their own stories of how knitting has helped them through all sorts of issues. These included depression, anxiety, quitting smoking, losing weight, boredom, and more. I found it really gratifying to read these responses again, and I hope you will too.
My Own Story
You might be wondering if I have experience with knitting-as-therapy myself. I absolutely do!
When I’m faced with an extraordinary amount of anxiety or stress, to the point where I can scarcely function, I’ve found that two activities relieve the pressure. One is yoga, and the other is knitting. (It’s no accident that knitting has been nicknamed “the new yoga”!)
For me, yoga feels amazing when the stress I feel has built up physically. When my neck and shoulders are stiff, or my arms or legs feel knotted up, yoga has helped me relieve that pressure.
But when I feel the stress in my mind, it’s knitting that does the trick. Have you ever felt so filled with anxiety that your head feels like it will explode? That’s when I reach for my knitting. I grab whatever I have on the needles and focus on nothing but knitting. At those times, those little loops and needle tips feel like a lifeline.
Are you reading this because someone has tried to convince you that taking up knitting could be good for you? I hope I’ve convinced you.
Or, maybe you’re reading because you need a reminder to reach for the needles when life is weighing you down. Consider this your permission. Go ahead. Pick up those needles or that hook. Make something that makes you happy. Give it away if you want (that feels really great, too!). Or keep it as a reminder that you can overcome whatever is troubling you.
Do you have your own knitting-as-therapy story? Feel free to share below!