Meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises are ways of helping our minds and bodies during times of stress, anxiety, or pain. They may boost mental, as well as physical health when practiced regularly. Research is now showing that knitting and creative crafts can also have positive effects on mental and physical health. There are even strong similarities between the benefits of knitting and the benefits of meditation in calming the brain.
The rhythm of knitting helps with serotonin release. This is the chemical transmitter that helps regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood. There is a strong connection between knitting and the feelings of calm and happiness in the brain.
The social aspect of knitting can also lead to better mental health. Whether it is online groups or real life knitting circles, the support networks can help with anxiety and depression. The groups or circles may also knit for charity. By giving back to the community, mental health can be affected positively and the sense of wellbeing can increase as well.
Knitting can help with being mindful which is focusing one’s awareness on the present. By relaxing into knitting, attention can be focused on breathing, clearing thoughts, and taking the time to be in the moment. Our brains aren’t equipped for all the multi-tasking that we do and by knitting, we can force our brain to engage in one activity at a time. So, if you are looking for a way to boost your mental or physical health, you may want to give knitting a try!
Lori Atkinson, Operations Director for The Kim Foundation
Lori Atkinson joined The Kim Foundation in May 2015. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in Middle Level Education. She was an 8th grade English teacher in the Omaha Public Schools from 1992 – 2000, a stay at home mom for several years, and then started a small non-profit in her husband’s memory during 2010. Lori carries out many duties for The Kim Foundation which includes: scheduling presentations in the community, hosting booths at conferences, managing the Art & Creative Writing Contest, coordinating the School Resource Fair, organizing the Suicide Prevention PSA Contest, assisting with the annual luncheon, and participating in the coalition’s community outreach group. Lori is the proud mom of three children and is actively involved in her church.