Calm Your Knits: Healing Anxiety Through Crochet and Knitting
I’d like to preface this with the fact that I am clearly not a doctor, or a mental health professional... just a girl sharing a tool that has helped with my own anxiety.
My Personal Experience:
Anxiety and depression… the two annoyingly unwelcome visitors who have come knocking (or in most cases, banging) on the door of my mind/life for quite some time.
Like a lot of people, I was diagnosed at a young age with anxiety and depression and tried just about anything under the sun to help ease the chaos in my mind. And while many of these tools that I’ve tried, loved and still use in conjunction with what I’m about to share, I want to focus on a super simple and relaxing craft that’s been around forever and has helped me personally so much…the art of crochet and knit!... Yep, the yarn and needle crafts that you’ve probably only ever seen your grandma do for fun.
I began my accidental crochet journey at a time where anxiety attacks were becoming a way too common part of my everyday life. I needed something to help get me out of my own head. So, I started googling in search of an activity that could help give reprieve from my anarchic brain. I came across a how-to video on crocheting and decided why not give it a shot (I’ll link a couple YouTube videos that I like later). Quickly I became obsessed with learning new stitches and patterns, and even more obsessed with the necessary break it was providing me from my constant worry thoughts.
The joy that came from creating a crochet or knit piece myself was embarrassingly pleasurable. And even more pleasurable... I started noticing a huge shift in my levels of daily anxiety. I wasn’t worrying about things as much throughout the day and for some weird reason I started to feel more confident and happier in general. I was shocked by the positive effects crochet and knitting were having on my anxiety and depression. It didn’t seem real, but after some consistency and time, I now swear by it. These easy crafts have worked magic for my anxiety. And maybe they can for yours too.
The Therapeutic Power of Yarn Crafts:
In today’s chaotic world, it’s no surprise that the number of people who suffer from anxiety is increasing drastically. Whether genetic, trauma induced, or as a symptom from our pressurized and social-media frenzied world, anxiety can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health and well-being; Making it seemingly impossible to maintain a balanced and happy life.
But what if there was a cute little activity that could act as an easy fix for when anxiety creeps in? Enter the world of crochet and knitting.
The connection between crochet, knitting, and anxiety relief lies in the mindful, focused nature of these crafts. As you work on a project, your attention is drawn away from your anxious thoughts and directed towards the task at hand. This mindful focus can have a huge impact on reducing anxiety levels and promoting mental health.
Crochet and knitting have long been recognized as therapeutic activities that help people process emotions, manage stress, and improve overall well-being. They require focus, patience, and creativity. All of which can provide a soothing distraction from anxious thoughts and feelings. YAY
Moreover, crochet and knitting involve repetitive motions, which can have a calming and meditative effect on the mind. As you become absorbed in the process your mind is given a much-needed break from the constant worry and stress that accompany anxiety. Not to mention, the mood boosting effects that come from the sense of accomplishment and pride after completing a project.
These crafts also allow for a sense of control and predictability, which can be comforting for those like me struggling with anxiety. As you work through a pattern, you know exactly what to expect, providing a sense of stability that can be difficult to find in other aspects of life. The tactile nature of working with yarn and needles can also provide a grounding, sensory experience, helping to anchor you in the present moment and alleviate anxiety.
In addition to their magical calming effects, crochet and knitting can foster a sense of community and connection, as these crafts are often shared among friends and family or enjoyed in group settings. This social aspect can help individuals struggling with anxiety feel less isolated and more connected to others, providing valuable support and encouragement.
How to Get Started with Crochet and Knitting for Anxiety Relief
- Get some tools: To get started with crochet or knitting, you'll need some basic supplies, such as yarn, crochet hooks or knitting needles, and a pattern or tutorial to follow. My favorite starter crochet and knitting sets:
- Learn the basics: There are countless resources available online, including video tutorials on YouTube and written guides, to help you learn the basics of crochet or knitting. Start with simple stitches and gradually progress to more complex techniques as you become more comfortable. Here are a couple YouTube videos I found helpful when I was learning:
- Set aside dedicated time: Make a commitment to practicing regularly, even if it's just for a few minutes a day. Consistency is key when it comes to reaping the anxiety-relieving benefits of crochet and knitting (or any tool used to help with anxiety-relief).
- Be patient with yourself: Remember that learning any new skill takes time and practice. Be kind to yourself and allow for mistakes as you develop your cool new crochet or knit abilities.
Supportive Resources and Communities for Anxiety and Mental Health
- Online forums and support groups: Connect with others who share your experience with anxiety through online forums and support groups.
- Mental health professionals: Seek the guidance of a mental health professional, such as a therapist, to help address your anxiety and mental health concerns.
- Local crafting groups: Join a local crochet or knitting group to meet like-minded individuals and build a supportive network.
- Books and blogs: Explore books and blogs that focus on anxiety management, mental health, and the therapeutic benefits of crochet and knitting.
Combining Crochet and Knitting with Other Anxiety Management Techniques
While crochet and knitting can be powerful tools for managing anxiety, it's essential to remember that they are just one facet of a comprehensive anxiety management plan. Consider incorporating other techniques as well, such as:
- Exercise: Regular physical activity can help to reduce anxiety levels and improve overall mental health.
- Meditation: Practicing mindfulness meditation can help to cultivate a greater sense of self-awareness and promote emotional regulation.
- Therapy: Seeking the guidance of a mental health professional can help to address the root causes of anxiety and develop personalized coping strategies.
Conclusion: Embrace the Calming Power of Crochet and Knitting for Anxiety Relief
Crochet and knitting can offer significant benefits for people struggling with anxiety and mental health concerns. By using these calming, creative activities to your benefit, you can cultivate mindfulness, foster a sense of accomplishment and creativity, and make some pretty bad ass things. I fell in love with both of these crafts because of their magical effects. Give it a try, maybe it can work for you too! xx