Knitting, it turns out, does more than supply people with cozy afghans to give as gifts; it has many therapeutic benefits.
Stress practically disappears after several hours of knitting or crocheting as people become so absorbed in a task that negative thoughts are blocked out. The repetitive movements, and total concentration required for complex patterns, lowers blood pressure and slows the heart rate. It’s why Jon Urbana made knitting a regular weekly activity at Next Level Lacrosse Camp, and why the charity campaign he’s running also considered knitting as a means of raising awareness for Urbana’s cause.
Studies pointing to knitters as feeling calmer the more they knit are piquing the interest of mental health professionals who are exploring knitting as therapy for stress, PTSD and depression.
Knitting and crocheting projects are easily transportable and people can work on them anywhere, as opposed to other stress reducing activities, such as yoga.
Finally, people who take up knitting for its stress relieving benefits have something to show for their efforts, including lovingly crafted handmade scarves, baby blankets and sweaters.