If you’re looking for an activity that can help stave off mood disorders, memory loss, chronic pain, and get you through tough times, don’t turn to CrossFit. Just knit.
Various studies throughout the years examine the health benefits of needlework. The results might surprise even those who’ve been at it for years.
We’ll begin with an occupational therapist, Sharon Gutman, whose scientific review of available research finds that hobbies such as knitting can slow the progression of age-related degeneration, as well as reduce stress.
Getting lost in a world of knits, purls, yarn-overs, and slipped stitches has consistently been shown to keep the aging population sharp. Those who knit, quilt, read, or use a computer can cut their chances of suffering mild cognitive impairments in half.
Betsan Corkhill, author of Knit for Health & Wellness, examines how knitting can benefit those of any age. A survey she put forth found that more than half of all regular knitters with depression turn to needles and yarn to feel happier.
Furthermore, people who are managing chronic pain find that knitting takes their mind off of their suffering.
Therein lies what may be the secret to knitting’s true healing power: preoccupation. One study was conducted with 38 women being treated for anorexia. Nearly three quarters of them felt that they enjoyed a reduction in their disease-related fear and anxiety while knitting.
Additionally, they benefited from the same positive emotions that nearly all knitters do.
Pride and accomplishment! One can significantly boost their self-esteem and gain confidence in their overall abilities through knitting. Any knitter can tell you that following through on a project is really satisfying, but it can also inspire you to set goals and expand your skill set.
Want to get the absolute most from this healthy hobby? Make your knitting a social activity. Yes, we’re talking knitting circles, where the social interaction can have life-lengthening benefits.
It’s the perfect solution for those who eventually end up feeling pretty isolated focusing all of their attention on that blanket.