"The only difference between your abilities and others is the ability to put yourself in their shoes and actually try. "
- Leonardo Ruiz
Do you remember the time during your school days when Arts & Crafts class excited you the most?
You’d enjoy making things out of paper, make drawings, make something out of clay and what not.
And you loved it because it was the only time you could use your creativity.
Crocheting is no different. It is widely known for the health benefits that it provides. And it’s no rocket science, you can quickly learn the easy knitting patterns.
While crocheting is mainly known for its mental benefits, it has advantages on a physical and spiritual level as well.
Mental Health Benefits of Crocheting
As with any other craft work, crocheting too benefits mental health in many ways. From reducing depression to helping fight anxiety, it helps with certain mental issues like Dementia, Insomnia, Alzheimer and others.
According to a recent survey conducted in 2018 by Survey Monkey, the top reasons why people crochet are relaxation, sense of purpose, concentration and creativity. All these are positively linked to the mental health of an individual.
The following are some of the major benefits of Crocheting
Helps With Depression and Anxiety
Crocheting is a calm activity that doesn’t strain the brain much. Researchers say that it helps to reduce depression and anxiety as the involvement in the activity releases an antidepressant, Serotonin.
In a recent study published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, out of 3,500 knitters, 81% of them who were suffering from depression said they felt happy after knitting.
Crocheting helps reduce stress and relaxes the brain. These days it’s easy to get stressed given the amount of pressure a person goes through on a daily basis. Knitting for a minimum of thirty minutes everyday can go a long way in reducing the mental load.
In 2018, The University of Wollongong Australia conducted a survey of 8000 people who crochet. About 90% of people reported feeling calm after crocheting while 80% of them felt happier after the activity.
But why does it happen?
Because when you’re knitting, you focus on one stitch at a time. You pay close attention to your breath and the pattern while stitching. This mindfulness and immersive knitting experience reduces stress.
Reduces the chances of diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer
Dementia and Alzheimer are memory loss problems that occur in people of old age. Knitting is a neuroprotective activity that sharpens the memory. In this activity, the person has to remember the counts, do some mathematics and get the desired result. It requires you to use the brain to not only to store the information but also to retrieve it. This usage of the brain reduces the occurrence of memory related problems.
It is a soothing activity that also helps those who show symptoms of mental illness. In fact, a recent study by researcher Yonas Geda, a neuropsychiatrist at Mayo Clinic shows that knitting reduces dementia by 50%.
Boosts Confidence and Self-Esteem
People who crochet are more likely to see an increase in their confidence level. As easy as the task seems, it gives you a sense of accomplishment when you finally make something out of the yarn.
It’s similar to constructing a house. At first, you have the idea in your head, then you put it on paper and finally you make it a reality. It’s the same with crocheting. To see the product one has imagined in his brain come alive gives a different feeling altogether.
Along with building new skills, you also feel productive which in turn builds your self-esteem. Like any other creative activity, it’s a form of self-expression.
Physical Health Benefits of Crocheting
Apart from solving mental health issues, crocheting also helps you with common physical health problems like body aches, headaches, restlessness and tension. As you absorb yourself into the activity, you forget about the ailments and focus solely on the crafting process.
Some other benefits include decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. Also, it keeps the brain healthy as the activity requires more mental effort to remember the patterns, perform arithmetics to get the desired output and keep the counts stored in the memory. Moreover, it keeps your muscles and joints flexible because of the repetitive movement of the fingers.
Additionally, it helps to deal with chronic pain, both physical and mental. You get distracted for a while and forget about the pain as you’re engrossed in crocheting.
Spiritual Benefits of Crocheting
It can get difficult at times to calm your inner state when there’s a lot going on in the external world. Crocheting will help you cope and get close to your inner self during such times. As you get engrossed in the activity, you feel a sense of purpose and mute the outer noise. It’s said to have benefits similar to praying.
Knitting is easy to learn and it’s inexpensive. You don’t need to buy costly equipment to put everything together. Now that you know the benefits of crocheting, would you consider learning the craft? Let us know in the comments section below.