You may have noticed that while you are crafting, your mind is focused on the task and the world seems to drop away. Even with an activity as simple as using crayons or markers to fill in a design in a coloring book, your attention is absorbed in what your hands are doing, and your eyes are enjoying the pleasant stimulation of colors and shapes.
On a broad level, this positive outlet becomes therapy, helping you relax by calming your thoughts, lifting your mood by achieving a goal, and stimulating your brain by performing fine motor skills.
Yarn crafts like knitting or crochet can be done daily to minimize the effects of stress in your life. Focusing on a soothing, repetitive crochet or knit project will allow your body and mind to wind down.
· Mood Enhancement. The motor activity involved in hooking and joining the fibers increases the firing rates of specialized cells that transmit nerve impulses, and this results in increased release and synthesis of serotonin, a natural anti-depressant.
· Developing a Meditative Focus. Traditional meditation involves concentration on a single object, typically an item like a candle flame, mantra, or mala beads. The action of knitting and crochet can serve as a type of meditative object that keeps your hands busy and mind focused, thus bringing much needed stillness to a mind full of stress inducing thoughts.
· Increasing Self-esteem. Working on a knit or crochet project can make you feel better about yourself. The journey from finding or visualizing a pattern, choosing the yarn, and following directions to create a useful product rewards you every step of the way.
· Building Community. Yarn crafts can be done on your own or within a like-minded group. Being among friends, sharing techniques, teaching and learning from each other, or just enjoying each other’s company goes a long way in creating bonds that help reduce loneliness and feelings of isolation.
Overall, any art or craft can be therapeutic, but crafting with yarn brings something extra to the experience. It doesn’t take a lot of money to get started. You can take it anywhere and do it in small batches. The color and textures of the fiber, the soothing rhythm of hooking stitch upon stitch, and the warmth of the item that you’re creating will lift your mood and soften your soul.