The Many Health Benefits of Knitting and Crochet

by Jennifer Dawson

Knitting and Crochet are Proven To Boost Brain Health

Knitters and crocheters who lose themselves in their favorite hobby enter into brain states known as flow, according to the CNN website. The flow state is beneficial to brain health and overall happiness. When a knitter is focused on a knitting project, everything else in life seems to fade into the background and this is good news where brain health is concerned. Today, it’s time to share information about why the human brain responds so well to the act of knitting. 

Crafting relieves stress and anxiety

According to a psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, flow begins when a person is so absorbed in an activity that other things seem to lose their importance. In his view, flow is the key to happiness and scientific research backs up his opinion. While speaking at a TED conference, Csikszentmihalyi said that indulging in creativity gives people a sense of living a fuller life, versus other types of activity. Since nervous systems process only a set quantity of data at a time, creativity takes attention away from problems that trigger stress and anxiety. Knitting and crochet gives the brain a welcome break from the daily grind.

The elderly may benefit from knitting and crochet

Knitting and crochet are fun at any age, but it may offer the most pronounced benefits to those who need stress relief the most, such as senior citizens with cognitive impairments. According to a study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry in 2016, adults who are older and experiencing cognitive difficulties tend to react more to stress. Senior citizens who do have cognitive impairments should therefore consider knitting and/or crochet to manage stress. Anyone who is taking care of an elderly person may want to start knitting or crocheting with his or her loved one.

Knitting and crochet are healthy for everyone

Knitting and crocheting will assist seniors with dealing with stress and anxiety, but it’s not just for the elderly. Everyone who knits and crochets regularly will access more dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that gives human beings a sense of pleasure. It’s released when the brain’s reward center is activated. If you’re feeling stressed, you may find that knitting and crocheting offer as many benefits as traditional stress relief techniques, such as counseling or meditation. Another benefit of knitting and crocheting, according to The New York Times, is that, after the learning phase is complete, it lowers heart rate, reduces blood pressure and reduces blood levels of cortisol, which is a "stress hormone". 

Start a new knitting or crochet project today

The stress-busting, brain health-boosting benefits of knitting and crochet are clear. Embarking on a creative journey via knitting and crocheting will be a great way to calm the mind and improve mood. Plus, knitting and crochet lead to tangible results, as a knitter or crocheter will have something to feel proud of once a project is complete. Whether a person knits or crochets a simple scarf or something more elaborate, a knitter or crocheter will be creating beauty with his or her own two hands. 

Knitting and Crochet Books

Knitting and Crochet Patterns

Knitting and Crochet Yarns

Jennifer Dawson spent over a decade building and running a haberdashery including all kinds of make and do craft classes during the day and in the evenings, including sewing lessons for beginners and those who were more experienced in their hobby. She works as a freelance content manager and writer. This includes working with a sewing equipment review site which also provides guides to various sewing related themes. 

Other articles written by Jennifer Dawson:

Knitting Vs. Crochet: Understanding the Differences

How to Choose the Right Sewing Machine

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