June 23, 2024

In this post, we will show you the benefits of knitting for better health.

And how it can help you stay calm and say goodbye to stress. 

Knitting is back, and it’s exploding in popularity. 

Check this out:

According to the Craft Yarn Council, more than 50 million people worldwide knit. And no, these aren’t just the old folks. The younger generation is also taking up knitting.

So, what are the benefits of knitting?

#1. Does Knitting Relieve Stress And Lower Blood Pressure?

According to The American Institute of Stress, Americans are the most stressed-out population in the world. Beyond that, 83 percent of U.S. workers suffer from work-related stress and worse, this type of stress leads to 120,000 deaths annually.

Knitting helps relax your mind, consequently reducing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. You see, cortisol plays a vital role in helping the body respond to stress. When in excess, this hormone can cause health problems such as high blood pressure.

Knitting distracts you from the perpetual cycle of stress by forcing you to focus on the task at hand, reducing anxiety.

#2. Knitting For Health And Wellness

Mindfulness is about being fully present and engaged in whatever activity you’re doing. More than ever, mindfulness is vital in this fast-moving world we are living in. You need something that helps slow your mind and brings your focus into the present.

Just like yoga, knitting is a meditative process. In other words, according to a survey of over 1000 knitters by Knit for Peace, 82% of the respondents said knitting helped them relax.

Once you have sharpened your skills, the repetitive motion of knitting helps soothe your worries. Additionally, the softness of the yarn makes knitting feel cozy on your hands, eliciting a calming response.

And to put it into perspective, imagine how it feels to stroke your fluffy pet. Soothing, right? So, yes, it’s enough reason to knit.

#3. Knitting Helps Improve Motor Functions And Strengthen Your Upper Limbs

Fine motor skills are the coordination between small muscles, such as those of the hands and fingers. These skills involve the small muscles of the body that enable functions such as grasping small objects. Likewise, fine motor skills are involved in strength, dexterity, and fine motor control.

Since knitting forces you to use your brain and hands together, it’s helpful to people with diseases like Parkinson’s by improving their motor functions. It stimulates your mortal cortex and frontal and occipital lobes to achieve knitting.

The cortex is the part of the brain involved in the planning, control, and execution of voluntary movements. Simply, it generates signals to control the body’s movement. The frontal lobe, on the other hand, is the part of the brain that makes us human and plays a key role in decision-making, future planning, and self-management.

Finally, the occipital lobe is the part of the brain that processes and interprets everything we see.

But you know what else?

Knitting is also a good exercise. As a repetitive exercise with small and precise movements, it helps keep the finger joints flexible. This mobility is helpful for people with arthritis. Additionally, knitting works the arm and hand muscles, keeping them toned during the process.

#4. Knitting Helps Slow Cognitive Decline

Like the rest of the body, your brain changes as you age. A majority will notice increasing forgetfulness as they age. For instance, it may take longer to remember a person’s name or even forget important events such as social engagements. So why is knitting good for your brain?Your brain needs a challenge to stay sharp. Knitting is the perfect exercise since it stimulates the brain, making it healthier. That said, according to a study from the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, seniors who engage in craft activities such as knitting are 30-50% less likely to have mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and memory loss than those who don’t.

In another study, results showed that seniors improved their memory when they engaged in creative activities such as knitting for an average of 16.51 hours per week for three months.

Let’s now address that question at the back of your mind.

#5. Knitting Is An Effective Digital Detox

A digital detox is a break from using tech devices such as computers, smartphones, televisions, tablets, and social media sites. The aim is to focus on social interactions without distractions and let go of the stress that accompanies constant connectivity.

Let’s say you have decided to take a more mindful approach to your digital life—a break from all this technology that characterizes our world today. Well, knitting is a simple and affordable way to do a digital detox. With both of your hands occupied, you will be able to resist the temptation to pick up that smartphone. As a result, you will have restful sleep and, even better, improved mental health.

#6. Knitting Helps Improve Concentration

Concentration is the mental effort we direct toward something we are working on. Staying on task can be challenging when constant distractions surround you. You may have found it difficult to study for an important exam or get through a challenging task at work. If you have trouble focusing, knitting could help. 

When you take up the needles, your attention is drawn to the present (the knitting). With time, you start to notice the progress of your project, increasing your desire to keep concentrating on the task at hand.

#7. Knitting Helps Overcome Addiction

People with addiction have an intense focus on using a substance to the point that it takes over their lives even though it causes bodily or psychological harm. Over time, if not treated, addictions worsen, leading to permanent health complications and dire consequences such as bankruptcy.

Being bored can lead to bad habits creeping on us. And if not checked, these behaviors can lead to addictions. The excellent news is that knitting addresses the root of this problem by keeping you busy. For instance, let’s say you have an eating disorder. Knitting puts you ‘in the zone’, eliminating mindless eating, which means better diets and, consequently, better health.  And that’s the goal, right?

#8. Knitting Is Effective in Chronic Pain Management

We’ve all been there. I am experiencing occasional pain and aches. Pain is a nervous system reaction that alerts you of a possible injury. Usually, typical pain becomes less severe as an injury heals. On the other hand, chronic pain is a type of pain that persists for more than 12 weeks despite receiving treatment or medication. In this case, the body continues to send pain signals to the brain even after the injury heals. 

Chronic pain affects mobility and makes daily tasks challenging. So, how do you manage it?Knitting is therapy because it requires focus, which means concentrating on the task at hand. As a result, you’re distracted from the discomfort(chronic pain) for a while. In fact, according to a study, knitting has been shown to provide pain relief.

#9. Knitting Helps Combat Depression And Anxiety

Picture this: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. and affect 18.1 percent of the population every year. What’s worse, only 36.9 percent of the affected receive treatment, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Depression thrives on negative thoughts, and the key to fighting it is breaking this cycle of negativity. Knitting helps the emotional breakdown. The repetitive and rhythmic actions involved during knitting help release serotonin, a hormone vital in fighting depression. Also, knitting requires focus, and this assists by distracting you from the symptoms of anxiety.

In a study of 38 individuals with eating disorders, results showed that knitting reduces anxiety. To put it into perspective, 74% of the subjects reported that knitting calmed their fears and cleared their minds of eating disorder preoccupations.

Likewise, knitting helps with depression by making a person feel productive. When depressed, it feels challenging to get up and do basic tasks. What happens is that the mind tricks you into believing you’re lazy and don’t measure up to societal expectations. Most people will find that the small steps in a knitting project are doable, making them feel productive again.

Finally, your self-esteem improves by receiving compliments courtesy of your craft pieces, lifting you from depression. Also, starting a project from scratch to its successful completion enhances positive feelings, further helping fight depression.

#10. Knitting Helps Increase a Feeling of Well-being.

Well-being is a state of feeling well. And guess what? Knitting can improve the feel-good factor. According to an international survey, there’s a relationship between knitting frequency and contentment.

Mastering techniques, following instructions, and successfully completing a knitting project spur the release of dopamine, which stimulates the reward center. As a result, you feel proud of yourself and are inspired to take on new challenges.

Imagine one chilly morning when you decide to wear your self-knitted sweater and accidentally bump into your best friend. After exchanging pleasantries, her eyes light up with excitement as she feels your sweater and then asks, “I love this. Where can I get one?” No doubt that statement boosts your self-confidence and esteem.

In addition, there’s a deep sense of satisfaction when you share your knitting knowledge with someone or even give a gift (something you’ve knitted) to someone you care about. And isn’t making a positive impact on someone’s life what we all want?

#11. Knitting Reduces Loneliness And Isolation

Loneliness is a major threat to well-being and physical health. We all crave meaningful connection, which significantly influences our happiness. You can always pick up the needles and some yarn to combat loneliness.

First, knitting is a great conversation starter. You could be knitting in a public place, and then someone approaches you to ask what you’re working on. If they knit, too, they could also share what projects they have worked on, and who knows, a friendship could be born. Joining a local knitting group can also be an enriching experience. Whether working on an individual or joint project, you get to expand your social circle.

If you’re not the super-social type, knitting is an activity you can enjoy when you want to spend some quiet time. The truth is, being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely.

#12. Knitting Promotes Social Connection

Social connection is related to well-being and is essential for people of all ages. Deepening existing relationships and building new ones are critical in promoting social connection. To achieve that, we need to have regular and meaningful conversations.

Knitting in a social setting (online or physical) helps create a support network that’s most likely to extend beyond the needles and yarn. Knitters love gathering in groups and chatting. In a group setting, knitting encourages conversation; in the process, you get to share your work and learn valuable tips. Also, the best way to learn knitting is to learn in person from other knitters.

Similarly, you can combine knitting with seeing friends or, even better, go to crafting shows. Here, you can connect with other knitters and learn from them. All in all, you strengthen existing relationships and forge new friendships.

One more thing:

And in case you’re thinking.

Is knitting hard?

No, it’s not hard to knit. All you need is interest and the ability to follow a few basic steps.

Let me know on the comment section what you think about knitting and if you are a knitter or not?

One more thing, Let’s stay in touch. Click the link below to join The Real Dreamer Community.

About the Author Ann

Ann Davis is the founder of The Real Dreamer. She helps individuals achieve a balanced, healthy, and fulfilling life. This, in turn, contributes to the well-being of society as a whole

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