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Knitting Is Healthy for Your Brain

Stashed in: Flow, Brain, Meditate, Awesome, Home Sweet Home!, Knitta, please!, Best of Pinterest, Hooks & Needles

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I feel like I should learn to meditate but I've always been super creeped out by focusing on my otolaryngal spaces. Knitting is far preferable!

Knitting has so many benefits:

Knitting works as a natural anti-depressant, as crafters release dopamine while they knit, according to a recent study.

In one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling "very happy."

And crafting's reward goes far beyond creation. Seeing the finished product adorning your walls — or receiving praise from a loved one — can offer repeated hits of that feel-good chemical.

Because crafting stimulates the use of many different areas of the brain—working memory and attention span, visuospatial processing, creativity and problem-solving abilities—there is a hypothesis that it can help keep the brain young by preventing cerebral atrophy and significantly delaying dementia.

"Even today, years after Huerta first learned to knit, she finds she can lose herself for hours in a tricky pattern.

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi first described this phenomenon as flow: a few moments in time when you are so completely absorbed by an activity that nothing else seems to matter. Flow, Csikszentmihalyi says, is the secret to happiness -- a statement he supports with decades of research."

BAM. Knitting is (or can be) meditation.

There are many forms of meditation and knitting, walking, painting, cooking, fixing cars, praying - anything that enables that Flow is meditation. And such joy in experiencing those moments is what one discovers while practicing regularly. I want to learn to knit!

Thanks Elizabeth -- I never thought of knitting as practice for flow.

Kathe it sounds like there are good reasons to knit in addition to the finished product.

Kathe - there are many ways to learn how to knit. Lots of books out there, tons of videos online, classes at big box craft stores or local yarn stores, perhaps a friend knows how and can help get you started, or maybe even try to find a local knitting group and ask if someone there could get you going.

Adam - definitely. As Kathe noted, anything that can get you into that state is a good thing. Knitting engages both hands, keeps your eyes focused on one thing (at least in the beginning, when you're you progress, you can look elsewhere, but...), your brain is somewhat occupied but can also wander off if needed. And sometimes you can even end up with something nice at the end! :D

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