Friday, March 1, 2013

Knitting to manage stress

When the day is over and the girls are (finally) asleep, I love to grab my needles and knit a round or two in my corner.  It relaxes me, even more than a bath or a stiff drink.  It seems that needles are the keys to my bubble of peace and quiet, in which I can heal all the negative emotions and vibes that life has thrown at me.

I remember, about 15 years ago, moving back with my parents because I had lost (unfairly, I still believe) my job.  It turns out that this was a very positive thing in the end, but at the time, I was enraged, to say the least. Well, I cross-stitched that rage over a few weeks until there was none left, until I was ready to move on.

I am not the only one who uses needlework for stress relief.  Look at what I have found while browsing on a blog writing by Sandra (re-posted with her permission - thanks Sandra!), a fellow knitter:

Doesn't it say it all?

My husband doesn't get it.  He says to me that if I stick two needles and a ball of yarn in his hands, his stress level could only go up.  Whenever we have this conversation, I like to refer to Jacques Plante, a famous hockey goalkeeper (6 Stanley Cups and first adopter of the full face mask goalkeepers wear today) who used to knit hats before jumping on the ice.  Hubby says Plante was weird.  I say Plante was wise.

In this 2009 press release, pain specialist Monica Baird explains that the action of knitting actually changes brain chemistry, decreasing stress hormones and increasing feel-good serotonin and dopamine".  Moreover, Dr Herbert Bendon, Director of the Institute of Mind, Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School notes that knitting is one method to create a "relaxation response" in the body, which can lower blood pressure, heart rate and helps prevent illness".

Why spend money on therapy or medication when you can spend it on yarn?


Yesterday was a bad day.  We were still fighting the last germs of our family cold.  My eldest daughter, who pretty much skipped the terrible-two phenomenon is catching up big time now that she is three.  My youngest one refused to sleep and wanted to feed continually.  But a ray of sunshine suddenly came in:  I won a prize!!  That never happens to me!  Margaret, a Fiber Artist, was holding a "one-a-day" draw for the 10th anniversary of her blog, and I won a lovely sunflower quilting pattern!!

I don't know much about quilting, but am quite eager to try.  Despite my lack of quilting skills and knowledge, I really like to read Margaret's blog.  I just feel a natural affinity with her and enjoy strolling in her quilting world.  I guess this is a sign that quilting, too, could make my stress level go down!

1 comment:

  1. Seen on Ravelry: I knit so I don't kill people

    I feel that way sometimes!


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