The 13 Health Benefits of Crocheting

I was trying to get a picture of the blanket in progress, but someone decided it was too comfy not to lay on.

Hi, I’m Becka and I’m a yarn addict. I’m not joking, I really do love working with, feeling, and looking at yarn. It just makes me really happy. The best part is that it’s not an unhealthy addiction, in fact there are a lot of health benefits to working with yarn.

Crocheting is a wonderful pass time that has many benefits for your mind as well as your body. Yarn crafting has been around for centuries. Weaving has been around for 30,000 years and is considered the first art form.

So, as it’s stood the tests of time for so long, more than one study has been done on the benefit of creating with yarn.

Crocheting Owl Here

I’m mostly a crocheter myself, but I also latch hook and I’m starting to learn how to weave. Which is why I think it’s important for you to know that all types of yarn craft, knitting, weaving, latch hooking, embodiery, etc. have similar benefits.

So, just in case you too want more reasons to love working with those heavenly strands. Here we go!

1. Reduced Anxiety

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

Anxiety is the bodys natural response to stress, but for some it happens all too often. Having something relaxing to do can be a lifesaver. Crocheting can help you quite a lot in this regard since it has the power to calm your body, mind, and spirit with just a few stitches. Meditating while crocheting can be very beneficial to someone with high amounts of anxiety since the person might be too stressed to start meditating in the first place.

2. Relieves Depression

Whether it’s chronic or a horrible, temporary, trip down depression lane, crocheting has been known to help pull you out of it or at the least get you through. Life throws curves at you and lots of them.

So, having something constant in your life that you control and build on through experience and tutorials can give you a magical feeling of peace and happiness. It’s a creative outlet that can help you explore and express your emotions in a positive way.

This type of happiness is important in the face of depression because it’s self generated and you can do it as often as you need to.

3. Helps Build Self-esteem

Photo by Alisa Anton

Crocheting can help you feel in control, but it can also give you a feeling of accomplishment. When you finish a project, big or small or when you’re feeling unproductive, you can look at all the rows or projects that you completed and know that you did this.

You have the added benefit of building a skill that will never go away. Even when taking long periods of time away from crocheting, people have been able to pick it back up after a quick refresher.

For me personally, crocheting is one of the skills I feel the most confident in. Feeling confident in something is such a great feeling that it can really help you through a lot.

4. Reduces Stress

Stress can be a killer, literally. It’s one of the leading causes of disease (get it? dis-ease), and can cause many health problems. A great way to alleviate stress is to crochet or knit as it can reduce stress and anxiety by giving your brain something to focus on without having to really think about it.

It’s a portable, easy way to help your brain let go of stress and if you don’t have much time then you can easily choose a small project that you do in a bathroom stall if you had to! Just keep a little ball of yarn and a hook in your bag, pocket, or car to use anytime, anywhere.

If you want a easy quick pattern, then try my crocheted hearts they can take 3-5 minutes to make and melt your stress away.

5. Reverses and Prevents Dementia

Quite a few studies have been done on how knitting and crocheting have been shown to not only be soothing to people with dementia, but also postpone age related memory loss. A researcher found that elderly people who began yarn crafting, combined with reading and playing games, had a 30% – 50% reduction in mild cognitive impairment, which is thought to be an early sign of dementia. It also improved the memory of those who had more severe memory loss.

6. Helps with Grief

Grief is something that we all experience at one point, whether it be a human loved one or a furry loved one, it’s a difficult time for those left behind. Crocheting can help you take your mind off of the grief and sadness for a while, give your hands something to do, and elevate your mood even if it’s just for a bit. Time heals all wounds, but crocheting has the ability to get you there a bit faster. Depression, anxiety, and stress are all common side effects of grief, so the fact that crocheting has been known to help with all of these symptoms is a really good thing for the practitioner.

7. Aids in Prayer

Photi by Aaron Burden

Prayer is a spiritual thing, regardless of religion or beliefs. It has always been known to hold the power of faith and faith is said to have the ability to move mountains. I consider myself to be quite spiritual and for myself, crocheting equals creating something with my own two hands. Crocheting, with purpose and good intentions is something spiritual in and of itself. I’m apparently not the only one who feels that way as there are many people who crochet prayer shawls and blankets for loved ones and for charity.

If you’re not someone who is especially spiritual, I invite you to try crocheting something with good intentions for someone that you care about. Pick a repetitious pattern and think about that person as you crochet. Think about the good things about them and positive things you want for them. Even if it’s for your pet, just try it and see how it feels.

8. Helps with Insomnia

We’ve all been there, late at night staring at the ceiling hoping that sleep will claim you before the sun comes up. You just have too much the think about, things to do, conversations you had, that embarrassing things you said 10 years ago…

It doesn’t have to work that way, crocheting before bed can help your mind relax and wind down enough to let you get sleepy and the act of focusing on one thing can help you get to sleep faster.

9. Aids in Focus

Photo by Stefan Cosma

It comes and goes, focusing I mean, a man can you get off track! One second you’re cleaning something and next minute you’re wondering why you just walked into this room. Brain fog is a real thing that can really be frustrating… is that a squirrel over there? Sorry, could you repeat that? I was thinking of a spot on the wall behind you.

It’s not fun and it comes from hormone imbalances caused by stress and sometimes a disorganized mind. The best way to help your brain reorganize is to actively emerse yourself into something, notice all the details, keep that lovely mind of yours on the things you are doing. Basically, train your brain to be present. Crocheting can help you do this by mindfully meditating while you crochet. Your brain loves to find patterns and liken one thing to another, so by teaching it to focus on one thing you are showing it how to do it on others.

10. Gives Feeling of Control

In your yarny place, the world is according to you. You pick the projects, the colors, the stitches, the patterns, the hook size, and the yarn weight. This is all your choice and in a world where you can feel helpless, this knowledge can help you feel much more relaxed and in control.

11. Helps with Addiction

Because crocheting has an addictive quality it has actually been used in rehabilitation centers to help people get over their addiction by replacing their current unhealthy addiction with crocheting or knitting.

It keeps your mind and hands busy and can help you control tremors through focus. Once you start crocheting a project, you will usually want to keep working on it. This can affectively help you kick snacking, eating, drinking, and drug use habits.

12. Helps with Meditation

Photo by Simon Migaj

There has been so many studies on how beneficial meditation is that I think everyone knows about it at this point. But for some people it’s easier said then done, that’s where yarn craft comes in.

It’s incredibly easy to meditate while crocheting or knitting you simply emerse yourself in your breathing pattern, the way your hands move, the rhythm that you use naturally. The way the yarn feels, the way the color looks.

Notice the texture of the fabric you’re creating with you’re hands and be sure use both of your hands equally during the act of crocheting. Be sure to actively feed your yarn to your hook and don’t allow your hands be stiff, let the motion and your breathing flow together as one.

13. Helps with Fine Motor Skills

Many people have found that crocheting and other fiber arts has helped them regain or refine their fine motor skills.

There’s even a push to teach children how to knit or crochet so that their fine motor skills can develop more quickly in a fun way.

In Short

All of these benefits add up to the simple fact that the hobby of crocheting, (knitting, latch hooking, pom-pom making, etc.) doubles as a great method of self care.

Anyone and everyone can benefit from this wonderful yarny habit and I hope you’ve found the benefits of crochet in your own life.

Extra Resources

You don’t have just take my word for it, here are some of the resources I used.

Dementia related study

Anxiety resource center

Resource guide from the craft yarn council

Getting Through Grief

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