Knitting can improve your health – both mentally and physically
Have you ever felt like you just have too much on your plate? Like your head is spinning of all the different balls you’re juggling?
When we are feeling stressed we are not performing at our best. We lack focus, we get irritated and we get unproductive. Which of course adds to the stress.
But, there is a cure, and it’s spelled: K-N-I-T-T-I-N-G
Yes, you read that right. Knitting makes you calmer and more focused.
There’s actually scientific proof that knitting has some really powerful impacts on our bodies and minds!
Health benefits of knitting:
- reduces stress
- eases anxiousness and depression
- lowers your blood pressure and heart rate.
- reduces the risk of developing symptoms of dementia
- helps Alzheimer patients with feelings of apathy and depression.
Mental health benefits of knitting: Focusing your mind
Knitting helps you to focus your mind. When you knit you have to concentrate. This helps keep your mind off the kind of negative thoughts associated with stress.
When you break that negative thinking pattern, you’re able to process thoughts easier. Your mind will also be more likely to be in the present. It can even help you move forward to positive thoughts and pondering about the future.
When we engage in arts and crafts our brains get a pause from pressing thoughts as we concentrate. This pause puts the brain in a meditative state. Concerns are forgotten for a period of time and the stress levels get lower.
When I manage to put knitting time in my schedule and don’t let things get in the way, I’m calmer and happier in my everyday life.
I wrote a post about how to get more knitting time earlier. Check it out, it could help you if you’re struggling to get the time to knit. It’s called 14 helpful tips on how to make more time to knit
Mental health benefits of knitting: Helps with anxiety and depression
The repetitive motions of knitting are calming for your mind and body.
Actually, the combination of repetitive motion and concentration are much like meditation. And knitting can have the same effect on your brain as gained from meditation!
When you look at what you have accomplished you get a boost of self-esteem. This boosts increasing levels of the feel-good hormone dopamine in your system. Dopamine makes you feel better as it reduces feelings of depression.
I have been struggling with anxiety for large portions of my life. During these periods my knitting always is a big help for me. Knitting and reading have been the two things that I always could rely on to keep me sane. Thus I’m thrilled to read research has found that:
“The meditative components of sitting comfortably, counting, repetitive movements concentration can produce the same alpha-wave pattern as meditation and more quickly, helping a person to deal with depression and anxiety.”
Knit for Peace
I already knew this, but it kind of helped me to see it written out. Because I haven’t been able to put words on what it is that my knitting is actually doing for me.
Physical health benefits of knitting: Lowers your blood pressure
Not only can knitting make you feel better by releasing dopamine and relaxing your brain. It can also give you physical benefits. This is because of the relaxation associated with knitting.
As most of us know already, stress is awful for our blood pressure. What a piece of luck that we are knitters and knitting actually reduces blood pressure!
“K induces the relaxation response and lowers the heart rate by an average of 11 beats per minute. Blood pressure drops when knitting.”
Knit for Peace
When you knit, your breathing relaxes, your heart rate slows and your blood pressure drops. This is similar to what yoga can do for your body and mind!
Health benefits of knitting: Extra good for seniors
If you are over 70 years young, you have all the fantastic benefits from knitting listed above. But, there is even more in it for you!
- Knitting is a way to meet with others and make new friends. And knitting for family or charity is a way to contribute to society and be active.
- Research shows fewer symptoms of dementia amongst active seniors. The active seniors were participating in mental, social or productive activities. Knitting and other crafts were a part of these activities. The study also shows that the risk of dementia decreased with increased participation.
- Studies have also shown that knitting can help Alzheimer patients with feelings of apathy and depression.
“Knitting has been linked to reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia; by exercising (it) the human brain is made more resilient”
Knit for Peace
Health benefits of knitting: more!
Health benefits of knitting is a well-researched subject and the results are really intriguing. One thing is clear: Knitting is healthy for us in various ways, both mentally and physically.
Interested to read more about the research that has been done in this niche? Check out this publication: Health benefits from knitting.
If you’re not feeling well:
When you’re not well, mentally or physically, you should always go to the doctor for help. Knitting alone can not cure depressions, anxiousness, stress, high blood pressure, high heart rates, dementia, or Alzheimer’s.