Heal Your Mind and Your Body: Top 10 Health Benefits of Crocheting

Discover The Healing Power of Knitting & Main Reasons Why You Should Try It

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Beyond being just an amusing hobby, crocheting is a highly popular craft where your creativity is turned into meditation, relaxation and therapy. It is a very therapeutic art that has a multitude of health benefits for your mind and your body. Some of these restorative benefits of crocheting include combating anxiety, relieving stress, reducing insomnia, building self-esteem, depression relief, improving fine motor skills, decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s, and so much more. Creating art with yarn by crocheting and knitting can transform you.

By making clothes, scarves, toys, or home décor, you are being productive while taking good self-care. A craft with no bounds, knitting nurtures your well-being. Crocheting can be enjoyed by people of all ages and is a fantastic hobby, even for beginners. In this article, we will analyze the origins of knitting, 10 of the most useful mental and physical health benefits of crocheting, with tips on how to avoid wrist pain. So, let’s get started on this journey of yarn delight.

Table Of Contents

1.    The definition: What is crocheting?

2.    The origins of knitting

3.    10 key benefits of crocheting for long-term health

4.    Crocheting for happiness: Additional advantages for your overall well-being

5.    How to avoid hand and wrist pain while crocheting

6.    Conclusion: Crochet helps your brain’s functions

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The Definition: What Is Crocheting?

Crochet got its name from a French word for ‘hook.’ It is an artistic hobby where you create exquisite pieces of textile by using yarn and a single needle with a hooked edge. By graceful interlocking of threads, you can create blankets, socks, sweaters, winter hats, toys, or home décor items.

In the beginning, knitting and crochet were considered as just a productive hobby for old people who were making pieces of clothing for their family and friends. Over the years, things have changed and today this craft is well-liked among all age groups. It offers numerous possibilities for being creative as you can knit almost anything. Even more importantly, you are simultaneously working on improving your well-being.

If you are just starting out, rest assured, crocheting is not hard to learn. With just a few techniques you will be able to make several items.
does crocheting relieve stress

The Origins of Knitting

Knitting dates back to approximately 5th century AD, while crochet appeared in the 16th century. Some believe that knitting was brought from Middle East to Europe with wool traders.

When it comes to crochet, there are several theories on its origins. According to one theory, it came from Arabia, which later spread to the east, to Tibet, and later to Spain and other Mediterranean countries. The other theory suggests that the roots of crochet are in South America, where primitive tribes were using crochet ornaments in rite of puberty ceremonies. Finally, the last theory states that crocheted 3D dolls probably came from China.

Even though we still do not have proof of the exact origins of this enjoyable hobby, we can still get to take advantage of its numerous benefits and the satisfaction of crafting little pieces of art from yarn and sticks.

10 Key Benefits Of Crocheting For Long-Term Health

Knitting and crocheting can help people handle and heal various conditions. Here are some of the benefits and healing powers they have:

1.    Reduced Depression & Dopamine Effect

When you take part in a pleasant or enjoyable activity, it activates releasing dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical released in the brain which functions as a natural mood enhancer. It makes you feel good. Craft activities like knitting have a great potential to increase happiness and boost self-esteem. Dopamine hormone is released in your brain when you engage in activities you like. It is your body’s natural anti-depressant. Studies have shown that arts and crafts have a dopamine effect. In a study involving more than 3,500 crocheters, more than 80% of participants with depression reported feeling happy after knitting, while more than half said they felt very happy.

2.    Alleviated Anxiety And Stress

Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone. Increased levels of cortisol hormone lead to anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, and other health problems. Creating artistic crochet art can reduce the levels of cortisol, and protect you from potential health risks. Knitting represents a creative outlet that can help you shift your focus away from the daily concerns and worries. These repetitive motions and counting stitches relax your mind and efficiently aid you in alleviating anxiety. One study from 2018 found that knitting can significantly improve a person’s well-being. Furthermore, it can help cope with mental health conditions and major life events involving grief or pain.

3.    Mindfulness And Mental Relaxation

Any activity with repetitive motions induces a state of mindfulness which is similar to meditation. By doing this, you allow for a meditative activity without the traditional form of meditation. This is the reason why it might be an attractive alternative for individuals who have struggled with meditation in the past.

4.    Increased Productivity

Another great advantage of crocheting is that it offers you a sense of achievement and a satisfying experience felt upon completing a task. With a multitude of colors and creative ideas, knitting remains appealing, and it almost never becomes monotonous. If you are looking for an effective hobby that nurtures a productive mindset, this is it!

5.    Combating Insomnia

If you are having problems falling asleep, you should definitely try knitting. Calming and repetitive hobbies can help soothe your mind and your body, which makes you fall asleep easier. Instead of getting frustrated during sleepless nights, consider picking up your crochet project. It will help you induce relaxation and potentially aid in falling asleep.

6.    Boosting Self-Esteem

Every individual has the desire to be productive and valuable. This is a universal desire which can be fulfilled by knitting projects for gifting or selling at craft events. And even though your main motivation is not to seek compliments, when you receive external validation, it can significantly boost your self-esteem. You can easily improve your self-assurance when the buyers purchase your creations, when you receive positive feedback, or when gift recipients proudly wear or display your crocheted items.

7.    Lowered Risk From Alzheimer’s Disease

According to a study from Mayo Clinic, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, activities such as knitting, which keep mind and body occupied are one of the best ways to avoid mild cognitive impairment (MCI). It is believed that crochet can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by about 30-50%. By participating in cognitive exercises which stimulate your mind, you have the ability to slow down or prevent memory loss. The cognitive side of knitting involves mastering stitches, techniques, patterns, and readings. It is a wonderful and creative way to preserve your memories.

8.    Promising Group Therapy

Crocheting can also be a valuable avenue for group therapy enthusiasts. Group setting fosters immediate connections among participants and serves as a natural icebreaker. In the beginning, the topics revolve around the yarn and the crochet patterns. Later on, it becomes easier to engage in a more profound conversation. Even when group therapy is not the main goal, group crocheting can offer a sense of belonging and the communal aspect.

9.    Potential Business Venture

If you choose to do so, you can also turn your hobby into a profitable business on websites like Etsy or social media, such as Instagram or Facebook Marketplace. These are all opportunities to sell your handmade pieces and earn some money for your delightful efforts. 

10.    Increased Serotonin Levels

Research studies have proven that crafts and hobbies like knitting boost the release of serotonin hormone in our bodies. Serotonin can help with pain as it increases your pain threshold. Furthermore, it is a vital aid in treating depression which is why doctors often prescribe medications that boost serotonin levels. If you want to increase the levels of serotonin naturally, on your own, you should try crocheting.

Crocheting For Happiness: Additional Advantages For Your Overall Well-Being

The list of physical, mental, and emotional benefits knitting provides is quite comprehensive. You can further encourage your happiness and health by taking bonus the advantages:
  • Fine motor skills and dexterity improvement
  • Better hand-eye coordination
  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • •    Maintains strong and nimble fingers and hands
  • Alleviates restlessness and irritability
  • •    Successfully combines with prayers
  • Used as color and tactile therapy
  • Helps cope with grief
crochet for mental health

5 Tips To Avoid Hand And Wrist Pain While Crocheting

Knitting and crocheting is not bad for your hands. However, if you work intensely, without taking breaks, you will need to take precautionary measures to avoid the pain. Some of the tips and techniques include:

1.    Keep Your Hands Straights

Whenever you can, try to keep the wrists and the hands straight, and not flexed. This applies not only to crocheting but to all the tasks you are completing throughout the day. For additional help, you can use wrist braces.

2.    Be Mindful Of How You Hold The Hook

Try not to flex your hands, or try ergonomic hooks. They are designed to reduce strain and provide a comfortable grip. Furthermore, their handle is wider than the handle of the traditional hooks, which is easier on fingers.

3.    Be Conscious About Your Posture

Try to find a posture that will not tense your shoulders or your neck, but make sure you sit straight. You can support yourself with cushions if needed.

4.    Take A Break

Try to find a posture that will not tense your shoulders or your neck, but make sure you sit straight. You can support yourself with cushions if needed.

5.    Stretching Exercises

You should also try to stretch your hands before you start knitting or while taking a break. Roll your wrists and stretch your fingers by spreading them like a starfish.

Conclusion: Crochet Helps Your Brain’s Functions

Whether you are an experienced crocheter or just starting out, do not hesitate to try this rewarding craft. It holds numerous physical, mental and emotional benefits that it would be unfortunate to pass up a chance like that to improve your well-being. The art of crocheting and knitting can be encouraging and empowering, so make sure you grab a yarn and a hook or needles and start getting creative. You will be able to easily incorporate it into your daily routine as they are affordable and portable crafts. The main health benefits of knitting are cognitive function improvement, relaxation, and self-confidence boost. To further contribute to natural self-help, choose 100% natural hemp yarn, for example. To conclude, crocheting is a highly valuable and beneficial activity for individuals of all ages and skill levels.