Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Knitting soothes the soul

I read this lovely article on the health benefits of knitting last week. It confirms something that I think every knitter feels, that knitting is a good way to relax. But it was interesting in that it also speculated that knitting is a good way to overcome stress--even post-traumatic stress syndrome--and can actually slow down aging of the brain. This explains why in the most stressful periods of my life, I always turn to knitting.


I am not an avid knitter. I subscribe to my mother's mantra to find a body to fit your knitting rather than deal with gage, but sometimes knitting is the only thing that can calm an inconsolable mind. During a particularly long and stressful period of my life I had a roommate die, another roommate who was less than ideal move in, and negotiated my own move along with a divorce, a job change, and a major disease diagnosis. That's when I started knitting again. The physical rhythm of knitting soothed my anxiety and helped me think straight. It provided relief from the churning thoughts in my mind, and I was both surprised and happy to wind up with something in the end--even a simple baby sweater or hat. It was a way to channel my negative energy towards a positive outcome and I know my health benefitted from the practice.


DI find when I knit, I breath to the click of the knitting needles. I have tried yoga, which is quite difficult for me since my spine is fused, but have never been able to pursue it because I hate the breathing. It frustrates me to the point of wanting to scream. But knitting soothes me into a meditative state without my even noticing. It provides the quiet time that is so needed in times of stress. Recently, I've found myself itching for knitting needles again--I think contemplating the move is getting to me.

Someone else is sick of moving too, but at least he and his brother are now safely in Rhode Island, whereas my things are still in Denver!


1 comment:

  1. I can knit but choose not to ,but love sitting watching someone knit for all the reasons you stated above.
    Hand embroidery gives me the best stress relief ,I make either pray flags,small art quilts or spirit dolls.