If you’ve dismissed crocheting as something only older ladies do, you might want to rethink the stereotype. New research is giving all of us — old, young, male or female — plenty of incentive to pick up the activity as a means of engaging in self-care.
That’s right: Crocheting can do wonders for your health.
According to a study done by researchers at the University of Wollongong Australia, crocheting can yield major mental health benefits, including improved focus and memory, and relief from depression and anxiety. Out of the 8,000 participants interviewed in the survey conducted by the University, 99 percent were female, half of which were between 41 and 60 years old.
Ninety percent of those surveyed declared that crocheting made them feel calmer, while 82 percent believed themselves to be happier while crocheting. Over 70 percent felt that the hobby improved their memory and concentration.
“The results from the survey show that crocheting provides many positive benefits for people in terms of wellbeing,” Dr. Pippa Burns told Martha Stewart. “Being aware that crocheting can provide positive benefits may encourage people to take up the hobby as a self-care strategy.”
According to CNN, crafting — including crocheting and knitting — can “ease stress [and] increase happiness by releasing a neurotransmitter called dopamine.” Experts say that fully engaging in an activity like crafting allows you to temporarily forget about your problems.
Another study proving the positive effects of crafting, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, found that in a survey of over 3,500 knitters, 81 percent of those with depression reported feeling happy after knitting.
Other poignant research has been done in relation to crocheting, knitting and the elderly. The American Counseling Association found that crocheting can help those aging who may struggle with things like dementia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition, the hobby has been proven to aid with insomnia and anxiety by keeping the hands busy and the mind focused.
Have you ever crocheted? How did you feel?