When I feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, depressed or anxious, all I have to do is sit down and knit. I could improve at Knitting, the knots look sloppy, and there are many holes. However, Knitting slows me down. Sitting and knitting gives me a sense of security and allows me to lose myself in my thoughts. It makes me feel happy, relaxed, and in control, & happy. It makes me feel good, which I’ve known since childhood. Knitting therapy, Knitting for therapy or art therapy, has become popular recently due to its fantastic health benefits.
In this article, let’s explore this new Mind Body Soul trend and find out how you can start today!
Knitting for Therapy
Knitting is a simple and effective tool to manage their daily stress levels. It can also be used as a self-help tool by those with more severe mental health conditions and medical conditions.
7 ways art therapy knitting can help you
These are the main reasons therapeutic Knitting is used:
- Low mood
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Chronic pain
- Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia
Mindfulness and Meditation While You Knit
There is strong evidence that Knitting can be used to induce Mindfulness-like meditation. Recent research has demonstrated that Mindfulness effectively treats depression, chronic pain, and anxiety.
Mindfulness is a challenging technique to teach, especially to people who are chronically ill or stressed. These conditions can make it difficult for the mind to focus. Knitting is a great way to experience Mindfulness. Corkhill and Cardiff University surveyed more than 3,500 knitters. They found that people felt happier and calmer when they knitted more often. Eighty-one per cent of respondents felt happier after and during Knitting. 54% of those clinically depressed stated that Knitting made them happy.
Knitting, like Yoga, uses movements to induce state mindfulness and a change of mind.
You may feel more connected to the real world. The way you need it and the rhyme you knit it has shown to be essential factors in the success of knitting therapy. The rhythm of working the same stitches over and over creates a sense of stability and inner peace, similar to a yoga flow.
See also: Peace of Mind Therapy – Creating Your Morning Routine
Knitting for Chronic Pain Relief
Research has shown that repetitive, rhythmic knitting movements could increase serotonin release, a hormone that regulates mood and learning.
Low serotonin levels (a natural analgesic or painkiller) have been associated with depression and anxiety disorders and lower pain thresholds. This could explain why knitters report higher happiness, calmness, and lower pain levels.
Life can be difficult for those with chronic pain or long-term medical conditions—people who feel out of control and lonely due to chronic illness. But, Knitting was a great way to improve their health.
They found knitting something they could do even during periods of restraint. They found something creative, productive and enjoyable that they no longer considered “lazy”.They rediscovered lost feelings like excitement and anticipation and began to plan and set goals. This helped them increase their self-esteem. Their self-esteem was further boosted by their ability to knit or give gifts to charity. Many people have described therapeutic Knitting as a way to help them forget their pain. Even people in severe pain reported that therapeutic Knitting was beneficial.
Researchers have shown that the brain cannot focus on two things simultaneously. Therefore, if your mind is sufficiently busy, it won’t be able to interpret pain-inducing signals.
Easy Way to Start Knitting for Therapy Today
Go to the dollar store and pick up an affordable set of needles and some yarn. You are just starting, so let’s keep it simple, choose a colour you like and begin to knit
Check out this handy guide for beginners to Knitting here.
Don’t worry about technique or perfection. Take time to feel mindful, and present and enjoy what you are doing in the present. Over time you will improve, and you can start creating beautiful creations.
Knitting Therapy for the Mind, Body & Soul
Knitting can be therapeutic for the mind as well as the body.
Although traditional western medicine tends not to treat the mind but the body, western medicine has significantly affected a person’s health and recovery.
Knitting therapy or ‘art therapy knitting’ addresses loneliness, social isolation and self-esteem. Additionally, it helps with stress/anxiety. Also, Knitting can increase self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and mood. Lastly, It can transform negative attitudes and thoughts into positive ones.
We all can benefit from reducing stress in our lives, no matter how busy or stressful they are. It is beneficial for your well-being to “switch off” for a few minutes daily.
You’ll be glad you did.