Knitting and mindfulness – how can it help? Merion explores…
There is a lot of talk lately, about the mindfulness of knitting. We know that knitting and crochet can be wonderful aids for mental wellbeing, and can be helpful for a whole host of other conditions such as chronic pain, arthritis, eating disorders, anxiety and depression – so what is it that is so helpful about the fibre arts?
In our modern world, self criticism has become inextricably threaded through the human consciousness. We are under constant pressure and bombardment from the media to be better, faster, more attractive, more accomplished, to achieve more, to create more – the list is exhausting, and the simple pressure of being disappears in the haze of anxious need to achieve.
Mindfulness, as described by Mindful.org is “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us” and when we knit, we are fully present and focused on what we’re doing – or at least that’s the goal!
How can knitting help?
The act of knitting – right from the beginning, is positive. Choosing a pattern, and choosing a yarn – in whichever order you do it, is positive! Colours help – to help us feel brighter, or to soothe us, and familiar stitches can bring us calm too. The process of knitting is gentle and meditative – a long stretch of stocking stitch is endlessly soothing, and if you have a stitch repeat to remember in amongst it, it’s a helpful tool for building memory skills.
Keeping yourself focused and mindful as you knit can help to manage many situations more easily – I love the story behind fairynuff27’s baby bump projects in the Community – knitting has really helped her to cope with the constant pain and worry of a difficult pregnancy. This is one of her beautiful little jumpers – you can follow her here.
Most knitters are tenacious – they might start and stop, but they are good problem solvers, and the drive to learn something new and master a technique is usually stronger than the desire to give up. Stephanie B, in our Community, decided to try knitting toys, and the skills involved can often be very intricate – but she did it!
She made these little toy hedgehogs for new babies, and it gave her great confidence too – knitting can deeply improve our sense of self-esteem and the confidence we gain spills over into all areas of life. You can follow Stephanie B here!
“The process of knitting can be challenging and I think that being able to use my brain for something especially as intricate as making little toys has made me feel so confident and proud of my knitting.” – Stephanie B.
Being mindful as you knit is all about focus. It’s about bringing your knitting to the front of your mind, and putting worries and nagging pressures to the side whilst you knit, letting the calm and structure of what you’re doing flow through your hands, making the most of the meditative process of working each stitch.
Does knitting help you with managing challenges in your life? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below! You can read more stories from the Community #HappyKnitter HotTag here.
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