Ever since Olympian Tom Daley was spotted poolside with yarn and needles in hand, the popular pastime of knitting has been in the headlines. Not only is knitting a fun and creative craft, but scientists even believe it has significant health benefits too. Here’s why.
It keeps your brain active
Many different areas of the brain are called into use when knitting. Your memory, problem solving, attention span and visuospatial processing are just some of the brain processes involved in knitting. It has even been claimed that the cognitive functions involved in knitting can reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
It can reduce stress and anxiety
The repetitive motion of knitting can have a therapeutic effect, studies have shown. Knitting allows your mind to become absorbed in a repetitive action, taking it away from whatever was causing stress. Following a pattern and repeating an action can have a calming effect on the mind and body, lowering stress.
It includes mindfulness techniques
Knitting is even being hailed as ‘the new yoga’ and we all know the benefits yoga has on the health of mind and body. In some ways, knitting can be seen as a form of meditation or mindfulness and the relaxation it brings – much like yoga – can help reduce blood pressure, stress and heart rate. Even the side-to-side eye movement involved in knitting mirrors well-known yoga techniques.
It boosts confidence and reduces depression
The feeling of creating something yourself from scratch can bring a great sense of accomplishment, which in turn helps to boost confidence. Each completed project can result in increased serotonin levels, prompting you to take on a new challenge and boosting your self-confidence.
It can help beat loneliness
According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, 45% of English adults feel lonely sometimes. Those who feel lonely can often be more susceptible to both mental health issues and cognitive decline. Crafting also brings with it a chance to join courses, communicate online and meet new people. Grabbing a knitting kit, available online from retailers such as www.woolcouturecompany.com/collections/knitting-kits, and heading to a craft club can help reduce loneliness and its associated health risks.
Overall, knitting has been shown to have a therapeutic effect which helps to reduce stress and depression while boosting cognitive function. It is little wonder that knitting is having a well-deserved resurgence in popularity.