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Knitting Helps Keep Troubled Minds From Unraveling, Study Finds

Stressed out, anxious or desperately needing to recharge?

Grab some knitting needles and a pretty ball of yarn — Swedish research shows yarncraft improves mental health without medication.

1. Knitting can ease anxiety and stress without medication, a new study reveals

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  • Swedish research conducted by Joanna Nordstrand, an occupational therapist pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Gothenburg, explores how knitting improves mental health.

  • Nordstrand reviewed 600 posts from the online fiber arts forum Ravelry to understand the mental health benefits reported by knitters.

2. Some knitters say the hobby helps them think more clearly too

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  • Knitters reported clearer thinking and easier management of anxiety while engaged in knitting, with some preferring it over medication for anxiety relief.

  • The activity allows the mind to slow down, enabling knitters to focus on one thing at a time and experience a sense of calm.

3. Mental Health Benefits of Knitting

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friends talking

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  • Knitting helps individuals unwind and manage stress, providing a creative leisure interest that improves mental well-being.

  • It gives knitters a sense of identity within a social context and brings structure to their lives, contributing to better mental health outcomes.

4. The Social Connection of Knitting

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Knitters also highlighted the appreciation they receive from recipients of their knitted items, which contributes to their overall well-being.

5. Swedish researchers say there's 'potential in needles and yarn' that the healthcare system should harness

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a patient with a doctor

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The study suggests that the health system should consider the therapeutic benefits of knitting and other yarncraft activities in promoting mental well-being and improving overall quality of life.

6. Source

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happy teens

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University of Gothenburg, news release, March 19, 2024

7. What This Means For You

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close-up of a Black woman smiling

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A hobby like knitting or crocheting may ease anxiety or stress.

knitting
Knitting Helps Keep Troubled Minds From Unraveling, Study Finds

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