Knitting is a craft that has been around for centuries, but it has recently gained popularity as a way to improve mental health. The rhythmic movements of knitting can help release serotonin, the chemical transmitter that helps regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood. Studies have shown that knitting can reduce anxiety and obsessive thoughts, as well as help with focus and concentration. In addition to the physical benefits, knitting can also provide social benefits when done in a group setting.
Knitting can also be used as a form of therapy, helping people with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, eating disorders, and chronic pain. The repetitive and rhythmic movements of knitting can be key to relaxation. Dr. Barry Jacobs of Princeton University discovered that animals that perform repetitive movements trigger a release of serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with calm and well-being.
In group therapy, experts suggest that knitting can facilitate conversation and improve self-esteem. Whether you're a child or an adult, knitting reduces hyperactivity and helps people with problems focus on just one thing. The meditative qualities produced through knitting can help people “forget about their mental and physical difficulties for a certain amount of time on a day-to-day basis.” The small knitting gaps allow you to exercise your arms and hands without exerting excessive force that can cause musculoskeletal damage. The release of dopamine can help regulate mood, sleep, digestion, blood flow and many other important functions that contribute to the fabulous health benefits of knitting.
Knitting in a social setting, whether in real life or online, offers great mental health benefits. It is also an opportunity to give back, which can be a big boost to your mental health. Knitting is no longer associated with domesticity but with a creative activity for men and women of all ages. So if you're looking for an activity to help reduce stress and anxiety or just want to try something new, grab some needles and yarn and give knitting a try! You may be surprised at how much it can help your mental health.