A couple of years ago, the Yarn Craft Council created a campaign and website call Stitch Away Stress. They have a lot of information on a variety of topics but what I found most interesting was their research on the benefits of knitting.
Since the mid 1990's the Yarn Craft Council has been surveying knitters and crocheters about why they enjoy their craft so much. And the number one reason was stress relief along with creative fufillment. Thru their survey they found:
68% of people said it improves their mood
85% of people said they experienced stress reduction.
Thats some one impressive findings!
So what is about knitting or crocheting that helps reduce stress?
Dr. Herbert Benson, a mind/body pioneer and the author of "The Relaxation Response" says it's the repetitive action of needlework which can induce a relaxed state of mind, like that associated with meditation and yoga.
Once you get beyond the initial learning curve, knitting or crocheting can help lower your heart rate, blood pressure and help lower the blood levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. I can give you a good example of this.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when my Faithful Sherpa and I were driving back from Washington State and we slid. You can read about that here: http://www.josefinafineknits.com/blog/traveling-safely-because-of-my-faithful-sherpa
My heart was racing so fast from the incident, I was shaking and ...well...generally a wreck! My wonderful Faithful Sherpa suggested that I knit, because he knew it would help relax me.
Knitting gave me a chance to focus my attention on something else, my stitches. It gave me a chance to hear the rhythm of the needles in my head, which gave my body a chance to calm itself down.
Want to continue this discussion? Come join me!
Starting this Saturday Saturday January 28th, I'll be hosting Stitching Together, just like knit Night but on Saturdays from 10:00-11:30 am. We will be at www.sacredspacegreenville.com/ located on 109 Ann Street, Greenville, between Anna's Cafe and the Fire Department.
Bring your knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, weaving or spinning with you and join me!