Mindfulness of Crochet
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“Mindfulness is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves. Consider, for example: a magician who cuts his body into many parts and places each part in a different region—hands in the south, arms in the east, legs in the north, and then by some miraculous power lets forth a cry which reassembles whole every part of his body. Mindfulness is like that—it is the miracle which can call back in a flash our dispersed mind and restore it to wholeness so that we can live each minute of life.”Hanh (1976, p. 14)
In the western world within the last decade, there has been a huge interest in the psychological benefit of Mindfulness and it has become a very popular and helpful practice for many people needing calmness and centerdness in their lives. People have found many ways to experience this in addition to the old traditional Eastern practices including meditation.
One such way is by creating with the hands, while simultaneously experiencing through the senses, a clearing of the the mind and a calming of the soul through concentrated, repetitive motions. Hence we have Crocheting.
The Craft Yarn Council has created a very compelling video entitled “Changing Global Health One Stitch at a Time” which explains the therapeutic benefits of using your hands to knit and crochet. It includes interviews with knitters and crocheters as well as Doctors from the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School. One doctor even says that persons on anti-depressants who began knitting found that it worked similarly to medications and in some cases the persons no longer needed the actual medication. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy has an article (The Benefits of Knitting for Personal and Social Wellbeing in Adulthood: Findings from an International Survey , February 2013) where they did a survey on the effects of creative occupation. The results of their survey with 3,535 knitters showed that there was “a significant relationship between knitting frequency and feeling calm and happy. More frequent knitters also reported higher cognitive functioning. Knitting in a group impacted significantly on perceived happiness, improved social contact and communication with others.” Their conclusion was that “Knitting has significant psychological and social benefits, which can contribute to wellbeing and quality of life”.
But we crocheters don’t need a survey to tell us how good crocheting or makes us feel. Afterall, many of us have our own stories on how we started our craft and how doing that craft “got us through _______ – fill in the blank”. But for those who don’t know and are just testing the waters for an “extra-curricular activity”, just know that crocheting your probs away is a real thing! Besides, if there was no positive effect, we probably wouldn’t continue doing it!