As someone who has been knitting or doing some sort of fabric or textile craft her entire life, you have no idea the AHA moment I had when I came across an tweet proclaiming the meditative qualities of knitting!
Upon reading and contemplating, I realized that I have been using knitting as a way to cope with my debilitating at times, general anxiety disorder, which is also something I have been coping with since birth. The AHA made perfect sense. Who knew I had been practicing a form of mindfulness for so many years! It was kind of similar to my Butler University graduate class in Educational Neuroscience, where we discussed how exciting it is to now have “the science” behind teaching strategies and classroom management techniques highly effective teachers have been using…because they work by calming and distracting or presenting novelty to the brains of our students.
Therapeutic knitting is thought to manage stress, anxiety and chronic pain!!! Makes me just want to sit down and finish the last few rows of a baby blanket I am knitting as I type the very word therapeutic. Music to my heart and calm to my soul!!! Does this mean I can knit as much as I want??? I have found when I am knitting I can pay attention to a lecture. I am going to let you in on a small, little secret. I sometimes sit in the balcony at church so I can…you guessed it! Knit.
Here is the first article I saw on twitter last winter, which was like winning the jackpot! The health benefit of knitting was like winning the lottery…well not quite, but I have had moments where I have felt guilty for indulging in knitting at times I should be “doing something else.” Here was the NYT saying I should be indulging, just like the piece of dark chocolate I nosh on after dinner!
I like to knit hats, mittens, baby blankets on large needles with thick, cozy and soft yarn. The easy to complete projects are a self-confidence boost, especially when I am working on something bigger, with multitudes of steps and a while to wait before I can cross it off my to-do list. An added benefit is giving away a project completed, wrapped and tied with a bow.
What is it you like to do? Something you can do with a meditative rhythm, intentionally and mindfully, as you have to be to follow the stitch pattern required in knitting? Is it something you used to do which you need to respond? I have heard it said, that if you want to find your real and true-self, look back to when you were 10-12 years of age.
Knitting: Its not just for crafters anymore!!