There are many health benefits of crochet that I’ve talked about here on the blog and of course in my book, Crochet Saved My Life. It heals for so very many reasons. But today I want to highlight one key reason: focusing on the craft in your hands gets you out of your own head!
Breaking the Cycle of Rumination
When you are dealing with almost any chronic illness, mental or physical, you run the risk of having your mind get the best of you. The constant worries and fears about what’s going to happen next, the endless thoughts about how you aren’t doing enough right now, the negative self-talk … it all adds up and piles more problems on top of whatever health problem is causing the issues in the first place. I know from experience that this is a terrible part of depression and can understand how it’s a problem in other illnesses as well. If you can break the cycle of rumination then you can reduce at least some of the psychological pain that you may be experience. Crochet helps to break the cycle of rumination by getting you out of your head to focus on the stitches at hand.
Why It Works
In my experience, some of the reasons that crochet helps to break the negative cycle of rumination include:
- The counting of stitches provides a focus for the mind that isn’t on word-based thoughts.
- The tangible activity of moving the yarn and hook draws the attention to the immediate action of what is happening in the hands.
- The soothing relaxation of the craft helps slow down the brain’s rapid thinking process.
- Crochet can help with mindfulness and the act of being in the moment instead of in the head.
Hands On Activities Help
It is not just crochet that can do this for you. Blogger Cynthia Curry notes:
“Once I started talking about crochet on my weekly radio slot, people started calling in to tell me how their photography class, wood working and wood sculpting classes and even car maintenance helped them get out of their own head and concentrate their attention on something outside of themselves.”
And indeed, I’ve had several people who read my book say that although they don’t crochet they reap similar benefits to what I’ve described from other hands on activities. By taking yourself outside of your head and doing something physical, but not strenuous, with your hands you are able to provide your brain with some breathing room and this breathing room leads to healing.
De-Stress for the Holidays
I mention this now specifically because even people without any sort of mental health issues feel a lot of stress, anxiety and other negative feelings during the rush of the holiday season. Remember that hands-on crafting can help bring you back to a state of peace and schedule that time for yourself as the holidays approach!