Monday, April 14, 2014

Learn to Crochet for Stress Relief

A woman meditates in a crochet world.
Crocheting Can Keep Your Mind in a Happy Place

Have you been thinking about learning to crochet, or have you been feeling like crocheting more often?  


There may be no time like the present to pick up a hook and give it a try.  Some of the benefits of the craft include a decrease in symptoms of stress and depression.  Among other things, crocheting can help provide an increase in feelings of control over one’s life, a relief from feelings of isolation, an increase in self-esteem, and an opportunity for relaxation.

In other words, as any crocheter can attest, crocheting is a fantastic way to unwind, whether that’s at the end of a good day or at the end of a bad day, week, month, or year.

How Can a Handicraft Have So Many Benefits?


Repetition and Relaxation

According to Julia VanTine, who writes for the health magazine Prevention, it’s the repetitive focus of needlecraft that can help to calm a crafter (2000).  The same idea applies to crochet.  The repetitive motion of crocheting can, quite literally, give a person feelings of well-being by increasing the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the body (Fernandez, 2013).

Furthermore, the amount of concentration required to crochet a particular project can have a positive effect on a crocheter’s affect. The more ergs, or units of mental energy, a person uses to follow a pattern or work a piece of fabric, the fewer ergs are left to think about triggers of stress.  In other words, being absorbed in their work helps crocheters focus on a constructive activity, not destructive thoughts.

Community, Socialization, and Self Esteem

There's something to be said for the benefit of operating within a community.  Once a person decides to become a crocheter, he or she can join a social group with others who also enjoy crochet.  These types of groups foster positive relationships, and members often celebrate achievements with one another, whether that's the completion of a first project, or the mastery of a difficult skill.  Belonging to these groups reduces a person's feelings of isolation.

Moreover, these groups oftentimes give members opportunities to crochet for benefits or charities, and what better way to raise self esteem than by giving back to one's own community?

Creativity and Purpose

Have you ever heard of a "tortured artist?"  It's not simply a stereotype or cliche.  Many artists, especially when they feel as though no one understands their passions or their ways of communicating their feelings, begin to experience symptoms of depression.  If not able to practice their art or their craft, they may feel as though they have no purpose in their lives. Even if it's only in some small way, crochet can offer creative people an outlet for creativity through color, texture, pattern, and final product.

Choosing or creating patterns, yarn colors, and additional supplies and materials can benefit all crocheters.  Again, making these sorts of decisions helps, even in a small way, remind a person that that he or she can make decisions and does have the ability to control how he or she expresses feelings and emotions.

Crocheting can reduce stress and feelings of depression by giving people opportunities for relaxation, socialization, and creativity.  Making the choice to pick up some yarn and a hook may change a person's life.


Want to learn more?

Just the look of these yarns makes me feel happy and relaxed.
Take my course on Udemy.com for 50% off!
Take my complete beginners guide, called "Crochet for Stress Relief," on Udemy.com.   Use this link to sign up for a Udemy account and take the course for 50% off!

Once you sign up, you have lifetime access to the course, so there's no hurry.  Take your time, and learn at your own pace.  There's over 2 hours of course content, broken into 2 - 17 minute increments of learning, slow motion follow along videos, and hints and tips throughout.  Get started and get some stress relief!

Want to read more about crochet?  Try


A Brief Introduction to Crochet Hooks
Lion Brand Yarn Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set
Crochet Christmas Tree Ornaments
Making Crochet Sushi Toys
Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet (Paperback) by Kathryn Vercillo  

References

  • Fernandez, K. (2013). Stress buster: Knit your way to Zen. Retrieved from http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/Stress-buster-Knit-your-way-to-zen/articleshow/22598142.cms
  • VanTine, J. (2000, May). Give Stress the Needle. Prevention, 52(2), 46. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/


Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Please contact the author for permission to republish.

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