Yes, charity knitting is good for you!
Study after study shows that knitting offers important benefits to the knitter. When times get tough and stress comes in buckets, you might feel like knitting is somewhat indulgent. Have you ever thought, “Surely I have better things to do than knit right now?”
I admit that I have! But after I learned more about how knitting, and specifically knitting for charity, can bring health benefits, I feel a little differently. In fact, I feel like making sure I get some knitting in every day!
What have I learned that changed my mind? Read on.
Everyone knows that meditation is supposed to be good for you offering such benefits of stress relief and lowering blood pressure.
Did you know that knitting is considered meditative? It turns out that the repetition required in knitting creates a “mindless” state.
Now, some of us would argue with that study result when we are fighting with our latest new knitting pattern. However, I have to agree with this finding. Think about it. You know when you are knitting along with one of your favorite patterns? You’ve got the perfect yarn. You love the feel of it. You love the color and you’re thrilled to have the time to knit. You know what I’m talking about. You just “get into the zone.”
This is exactly what studies are referring to. It’s this “zone” when you aren’t distracted about other issues in your life. You sit back, relax, and reach this meditative state which has the same effect as meditation – stress is relieved and blood pressure is lowered.
When people suffer from depression, one of the most commonly offered pieces of advice is, “Do something for someone else.” By helping others, you are concentrating on the problems of others and thinking about the help and joy you will bring them.
Concentrating on others relieves depression and you receive an additional benefit psychologically when you think about helping others with your knitting for charity projects.
When women are faced with stressful situations, their bodies release a chemical called oxytocin. This is the same chemical that is released during childbirth and breastfeeding, and it buffers the fight or flight response.
Studies have shown that knitting actually causes this chemical to be released effectively reducing stress and creating that same bond that a woman feels with her child. Now you know why you are so attached to your knitting buddies!
No need to feel guilty about taking the time to knit. And if you ever feel weighed down by life, why not pick up your needles and create for charity? You’ll do something good for others, and you’ll feel better, too.