Knitting – a hobby for the body and mind

When you hear the word “knitting”, you might picture a granny with grey hair and glasses in a rocking chair, but these times have changed.

Knitting is on the rise and is even warmly embraced by young people. In this age of austerity, with the NHS stretched to its limits, such a hobby could help keep mental health in check.

The network Knit for Peace found that knitting has a positive effect on both mental and physical health. It has been proven to reduce depression and anxiety, lower blood pressure and increase our general sense of wellbeing. Out of the 1,000 people surveyed, 92% of those in poor health said knitting improved their health.

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Another organisation, Stitchlinks, has been doing research on the benefits of knitting since 2005. They have found that the reason knitting is so effective is that the skills you learn can be directly applied to other areas in life. To knit you must be patient and have perseverance and along the way, you learn to accept that the mistakes you made can be fixed. Because it is portable, it has proven effective in managing panic, anxiety and pain even when out and about. Knitting provides a creative outlet and a focus point outside of the body, which helps the knitter feel in control.

Even though the dark winter nights are becoming shorter, it is worthwhile finding a hobby for you to enjoy while waiting for the warmth of spring. Not only is knitting a hobby that will keep you busy, it will also make sure you stay warm and stylish. On top of that, you can use your hobby to make home-made gifts for your friends and family.

Clearly, knitting is not just for grannies, but for anyone looking for a way to take their mental health and wellbeing into their own hands, at a time when this may be more relevant than ever.

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