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!|