Knit one. Purl one. Knit one. Purl one. Knit one. Purl one. The rhythmic and repetitive nature of knitting is calming, comforting and contemplative. It’s not a stretch for you to imagine knitting as a mindfulness practice, or perhaps a form of meditation.
I’m delighted to report that neuroscience is finally catching up on brain health aspects of the trend some have called "the new yoga."
Research shows that knitting and other forms of textile crafting such as sewing, weaving and crocheting have quite a lot in common with mindfulness and meditation — all are reported to have a positive impact on mind health and well-being.
In an online survey of more 3,545 knitters, by Betsan Corkhill, a UK-based knitting therapist who has done research on the therapeutic effects of knitting, more than half of respondents reported that knitting left them feeling "very happy." And many said that they knitted solely for the purposes of relaxation, stress relief and creativity.
The study found a significant relationship between the frequency of knitting and respondents’ perceived mood and feelings. Frequent knitters (those who knitted more than 3 times a week) were calmer, happier, less sad, less anxious, and more confident.
Corkhill’s study concluded, “Knitting has significant psychological and social benefits, which can contribute to well-being and quality of life.”
Interestingly, the study also found that people who knitted as part of a group were even happier than solo knitters. Knit-ins, stitch ‘n bitch groups, and even scrapbooking parties have many keys of mind and brain health covered.
Here are 10 ways crafting with friends may improve mind and brain wellness: