Knitting is not only fun to do as a hobby, nor challenging as a skill, but it is also beneficial for you and your mental health. Many studies have proven that knitting eases a significant number of health conditions, some of which, we will tackle in this article. If you are looking for a new recreational activity or a leisure pursuit, knitting is a wonderful choice. In fact, you can also work with equipment to help you work faster on repetitive designs. This knitting machine guide will help you big time!
Well, that only means that your newfound hobby is your mental health partner at the same time. It is even considered as a meditative relaxation tool. Knitting not only allows you to produce items, but it is also a process-oriented task that develops both physical and cognitive skills. Awesome, right?
Some of the benefits include lower blood pressure, calm and happiness, lower heart rate, chronic pain relief, slowed inception of dementia, and many more. Now, let’s get into the details of these mental health benefits.
Reduces stress, depression, and anxiety
Globally, stress, depression, and anxiety have had a massive percentage raise over the past years. According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people of varying ages worldwide are suffering from depression today. What an alarming fact! Medications alleviate their episodes and symptoms.
But, isn’t it amazing that we can do hobbies that actually help us deal with our condition? If not you, then maybe you know somebody. Invite them to try some knitting activity. They will love it and will surely benefit from it. Studies show that knitting induces a calming effect on stress, depression, and anxiety. Encourage living by recommending knitting!
Overcomes isolation and loneliness
An organization in the United Kingdom called Knit For Peace gathers knitters together and provides clothing or garments for those who are in need all over the world. They conducted a study and compiled all the related literature that they could get that state and expound on the health benefits of knitting. They supported the finding which revealed that knitting is a sociable activity that enables people to defeat isolation and loneliness, especially those of the old age.
Slows cognitive decline
Knitting stimulates the brain and sharpens your memory as it prompts you to work in detail. Mayo Clinic conducted a study in 2011 involving 70-year old people. The results showed that those who do knitting had a “diminished chance of developing mild cognitive impairment and memory loss”. Seniors who put their hands on crafts and creation, which includes knitting, are 30 to 50% less likely to suffer from mild cognitive impairment.
Distracts from chronic pain; promotes social connection
The respondents of the survey conducted by Knit For Peace revealed as well that knitting distracts them from chronic pain; 21.4% of which said that knitting soothes the pain of arthritis. Another study on knitting had proven that it provides physical relief as well as social support. Both of which help in reducing chronic pain’s effects and severity. The members of the knitting group reported no pain and even built significant relationships with one another after doing the activity.
Lowers heart rate
Harvard Medical School’s Mind and Body Institute conducted a study in 2007 on knitting’s health benefits and found out that by an average of 11 heartbeats per minute, the knitting process lowers the heart rate of a person. Also, the activity impels an “enhanced state of calm” which is equivalent to that of yoga.
Releases calming serotonin
Serotonin increases human happiness and well-being and knitting is a proven producer of it. Studies and experiments say that the repetitive movements necessary in performing the task and creating patterns release calming serotonin. This neurotransmitter uplifts one’s mood and spirit, dulls pain, and activates happiness.
Enhances motor skills
It has been mentioned that knitting stimulates the brain. Meaning to say, it enhances every part of it: 1) the frontal lobe, responsible for attention, processing, and planning; 2) the parietal lobe, manages spatial navigation and sensory information; 3) the occipital lobe, handles visual perception; 4) the temporal lobe, deals with storing memories and the interpretation of semiotics and semantics; 5) the cerebellum, accountable for the coordination of timing and precision of movements.
With that being said, people with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease can be helped in improving their motor functions through the practice of knitting. It will also alleviate any painful symptoms.
Knitting is not solely a leisure activity. It is a productive, healthy task that improves the capacity of your body to perform and work. It heals the mind and encourages one’s spirit. There are plenty of studies conducted concerning the health benefits of knitting, and all of them proved the miracle therapeutic power of knitting! People who had been involved in the studies can also attest to the positive gain that they earned for engaging in the hobby. You can try and see it for yourself!