Why Knitting Makes You Happy

Knitting has been described as a form of “therapy”, a relaxing meditation that is highly associated with a greater sense of emotional health. It requires concentration, which can act as a distraction and divert people's attention away from problems, anxiety and pain. Crafts such as knitting can help those suffering from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, according to experts. It can also relieve stress, increase happiness, and protect the brain from damage caused by aging.

Knitting is fun, relaxing and challenging all at the same time. It's meditative, calming and inspiring. A study of more than 3,500 weavers published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy found that 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happier after knitting. The rhythmic and repetitive movements of knitting and other sewing work actually changes brain chemistry, causing it to produce more of the “feel good” hormones serotonin and dopamine.

This gives knitters a boost of confidence and a sense of accomplishment as they watch their work progress. For weavers with depression, group knitting was significantly related to feeling happier and better about themselves. Knitting also helped more than 70% of participants in a study on eating disorders to distract themselves from their thoughts and feelings related to their disorder. But since the mind and body are closely connected, the health benefits of knitting could also extend to physical well-being.The therapeutic effects of knitting range from stress reduction to better cognitive functioning, self-confidence and the ability to focus on the present.

Nowadays, knitting is no longer associated with domesticity but with a creative activity for men and women of all ages. Knitting can also help improve math, budgeting, and organizational skills through activities such as calculating measurements and purchasing supplies. Even today, years after she first learned to knit, Huerta realizes that she can get lost for hours in a complicated pattern.As millions of us found ourselves stuck at home with nothing to do due to lockdowns, knitting became a great way to learn a new skill and pass the time while doing something creative and productive.

Jane MacDonald
Jane MacDonald

I am of the author and owner of I Love Knitting. I first learned to knit when I was around five years old, and stop doing it when I hit my teens! I than picked it back up when I had my first child, and have since taught all three of my children to knit.

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