I'm always knitting! I knit in the car, at work, while waiting for my food in a restaurant. I can honestly say I'm addicted to knitting. But I need to knit. . .I consider knitting my "therapy." And it really helps!
And a lot of others consider it their therapy as well!.
A couple of years ago the Craft Yarn Council created a new campaign, and website called Stitch Away Stress (bit.ly/2uOGXkX). They have a lot of information on a variety of topics on their website. But what I found most interesting was their research on the benefits of knitting and crocheting.
Since the mid 1990’s the Craft Yarn Council has been surveying hundreds and thousands of knitters and crocheters about why they enjoy their craft so much. And consistently, stress relief has been listed as the number one reason, along with creative fulfillment. Thru their surveys they have found that:
So what is it about knitting or crocheting, or any other craft for that matter, that causes 80% of people to say they felt a reduction in stress.
Dr. Herbert Benson, who is a pioneer in mind/body medicine and author of “The Relaxation Response” says "it’s the repetitive action of needlework which can induce a relaxed state like that associated with meditation and yoga."
Once you get beyond the initial learning curve, knitting and crocheting can help to lower your heart rate, blood pressure and reduce harmful blood levels of the stress hormone called cortisol.
I can give you a good example of this.
Well, what I didn’t realize was along Eastern Oregon it gets cold, like really cold. We were driving along in zero degree weather!
We had to travel up and over Battle Mountain in Oregon. We were really high on the mountain, and the views out my passenger window were incredible!
Then my Faithful Sherpa said, "I wonder what that sign says," and started to move our Tahoe towards the left to read it, when we started sliding. I grabbed the passenger door handle and started yelling "Mike, Mike, Mike!!!" He was so calm, as he said “it’s ok, I have control,” and steered us back into our lane.
My heart wouldn’t calm down at that point, it was jumping out of my chest. My sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) kicked into high gear. And he knew it.
“Why don’t you knit? It’ll calm you down.”
So I did. And very quickly. . .like in 2 hours I had finished an infinity scarf.
I know everyone has been in a fight or flight situation before. How you handle the situation (calmly, or like me, freak out) will depend on what techniques you have in your back pocket!
That is exactly what Nancy Presser of Sacred Space, will teach us on July 28th. Tools, tips and tricks to keep in our back pocket just in case you find yourself completely stressed out!
This will help you with those moments when you suddenly stop knitting, and sit motionless, because you've dropped a stitch and if you move, you'll lose it. Or when you've tried and tried to figure out what the heck the pattern is saying and you now simply want to throw everything out the window.
Breathing techniques, exercises for your hands, neck, shoulders and mind, are all techniques every artisan should have in their back pocket!
Whether you knit, crochet, spin, cross stitch, weave, needle point, or any other craft, you can benefit from knowing how to stay relaxed while performing your craft!
Please let me know if you are interested in attending this workshop. Space is very limited (8 students) and it's filling up quickly!
And now, I will calmly get back to my knitting.