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Research Shows Knitting to be a Healthy Pasttime

Not exactly a blog (actually not a blog at all, LOL) but an interesting article about the benefits of knitting.  Just what I always suspected… world peace would indeed be achieved by teaching the world to knit. If not world peace, then how about peaceful discussions?  Especially in meetings. 

A knitted brain; very cool!

A knitted brain; very cool!

People ask me how I can knit and be part of a meeting at the same time.  I reply, “you don’t want to have me in your meeting if I’m NOT knitting.. trust me”.  

If I start to feel aggravated or impatient, or if I’m loving the discussion but losing the ability to focus or if I’m just in the mood to knit… or…who cares why actually… I pick up my knitting, do a few stitches and the world is OK once again.  My blood pressure goes down, my anger and impatience fade away stitch by stitch, and my focus returns.  I’m good as gold – all because I’ve got 2 sticks and a string in my hands.  Go figure.  And now there’s scientific research proving it really does work (knitters will not understand why we need to pay money for research to prove what we’ve known all along, but then non-knitters can’t understand why knitters will spend a thousand hours knitting a pair of socks when they could buy a pair for $1.00 at their local Dollar store).

In the rhythm is part of an article Therapeutic Knitting by Betsan Corkhill 2007.

The rhythm of knitting has a calming effect which is already being used successfully to manage disruptive behaviour and ADHD in children. Many people use their knitting to manage anxiety, panic attacks, phobias and conditions such as asthma, where calmness is important. Of course the portability of knitting means you can carry your calming remedy around and use it when and wherever you need. 

The automaticity of knitting is important, too. It occupies some areas of your brain, whilst freeing up others. Many find that this enables them to ‘zone out’ to become ‘mindless’. This gives your mind a mini break from any problems, enabling you to escape into the sanctuary of a quiet mind. This brings down stress levels and breaks into negative or ruminating downward thought cycles.

This occupying of the brain at one level has interesting results if you’re knitting in groups. Conversations can become more intimate more quickly and, as a result, communication improves. It’s as if the brain is unable to think too critically or prejudicially about what it’s saying because it’s occupied elsewhere – it enables barriers to come down.

The action of knitting slows down thought processes, which is important in our modern, stressful world. Thoughts can often whiz around in our heads preventing sleep and keeping stress levels high. Slowing them down enables us to view, sort and process them. This could have important implications for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). Indeed knitters tell me their knitting significantly improves their PTS and in some cases cures it completely.

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