Besides creating some of the most delicate textile arts, crocheting offers various benefits. To you, it may just be a pastime, but to your mind and body, it does much more.
What are the advantages of crocheting?
Beyond being a hobby, crocheting offers various surprising benefits to both the mind and the body. It can help with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and even blood pressure. Crocheting may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and help ease the burden of depression.
Interestingly, the benefits of crocheting can extend beyond the crocheter; even those around you can benefit from it.
So, if you ever needed more reasons to crochet, read this article for 16 surprising benefits of crocheting.
1. Crocheting Helps Fight Stress and Anxiety
Crocheting – and yarn crafts in general – can help with stress and anxiety. Whenever you are disturbed, anxious, or stressed, and you pick up your yarn and hook to crochet, you can distract your mind from whatever worries you.
Obviously, if you are distracted from what worries you, you will become less stressed. Besides, the repetitive pattern of the stitches and the counting you do can help you relax.
In fact, it is said that counting rows while crocheting can help ease the anxiety associated with OCD and eating disorders.
A study even shows that 75% of anorexic women think knitting helps reduce anxiety and is calming.
2. It Helps With Depression
Beyond helping with mild discomforts like stress and anxiety, crocheting can help with depression. In fact, the role of crocheting in easing depression might be the most studied and most reported benefit.
The rhythmic and repetitive processes of crocheting are said to trigger the release of serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin, a mood-stabilizing hormone, helps alleviate the symptoms of depression. It also helps relieve chronic pains.
Besides serotonin, experts also believe that crocheting may trigger the release of dopamine. Dopamine is another hormone, and it spurs pleasurable stimulations in the brain.
A study by the British Journal of Occupational Therapy reveals that of over 3500 knitters, 81% said they felt happy after knitting. More than 50% of the same sample size indicated that they felt “very happy” after knitting.
While crocheting cannot be a standalone treatment for depression, it is a worthy adjunct to primary therapy.
3. It Keeps the Mind Active
Many of the steps involved in crocheting require mental activity. Your mind is active while counting the rows and stitches, repeating patterns, and taking note of the beginning and end of the stitches on each row.
The upside to keeping your mind active through crocheting is that it may help reduce your risk of diseases that can hamper mental function.
4. Crocheting Can Help Your Creativity
As you gain more experience, you can get more creative.
You can go from just knitting plain patterns to creating complex designs. You can go from crafting simple shapes like blankets and kitchen towels to making items like purses and stuffed animals.
5. Crocheting Can Boost Your Self-Esteem
If you have been feeling valueless or unproductive, crocheting might be able to raise your image of yourself.
Whether through internal or external validation, finishing a crocheting project can make you feel much better.
If you work on crochet from start to finish, you get the feeling and reassurance that you can actually see things through. Besides that, the positive interaction of people with your crochet can make you feel better about yourself.
For instance, if someone sees your crochets and compliments them genuinely, you are sure to feel like you have accomplished something.
Also, if someone buys your crafts and uses them, you get the affirmation that your crochets are worthy and desirable. Of course, you are sure to feel good about that.
Furthermore, as you keep crocheting, you will become better and gain new skills. When your improvement and new skills become evident in your output, you will definitely feel more valuable.
6. It Can Help Create a Sense of Community
For sure, not everyone you come across will be into crocheting. But when you come across the few people who enjoy crocheting as much as you do, you get a sense of community with them. You can even build a community of crocheters with them. The community can hold get-togethers and just have positive social interactions once in a while.
Of course, positive social interactions are healthy for the mind and body.
7. Crocheting Can Help You Break Out of Unhealthy Habits
If you drink excessively or smoke too much and have found it hard to quit, crocheting can help make things easier for you.
With your hands and mind occupied while crocheting, you can take your mind off drinking or smoking for a while. While your mind is preoccupied with crocheting, you can quell the urge to smoke or drink with positive thoughts.
Trying this method just once may not be effective in breaking unhealthy habits. But with repeated efforts, you should have better luck.
8. It Helps With Sleeplessness
The ease and repetitiveness of crocheting have a calming and soothing effect; you are not stressing to get your stitches right, and everything is falling in place. The ensuing calm, in turn, relaxes your body enough to make you sleepy.
Besides, crocheting stimulates the release of hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which can trigger sleep.
Interestingly, in a study of insomnia patients, every one of them reported improved sleep with therapy that included yarn crafting. In fact, 90% of them were able to stop medications.
9. Crocheting Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s
As we mentioned before, crocheting keeps the mind active. Therefore, it can serve as a mental exercise that keeps your cognitive function in top shape.
Evidently, if your cognitive function remains in top shape, your chances of having memory loss reduces.
According to a study, craft hobbies like knitting can reduce or slow down the risk of memory loss by 30-50%.
Besides stimulating your memory regularly, getting crafty and creating patterns can improve your memory skills. As you improve your memory skills, you protect your memory from deterioration.
10. Crocheting Can Put You in Control
If you are in a seemingly hopeless situation, you might feel like everything is spiraling out of control. And that feeling is not one we wish for anyone. For instance, if you have to care for a loved one with a terminal illness, you might feel helpless from the inability to ease the person’s condition.
As we said, the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness is pretty harsh on anyone. But you can get some sense of control back through crocheting.
When crocheting, you make the choices and control everything that happens. You choose the project you want to work on, the type of yarn to work with, the color, and basically, everything that happens is up to you.
The ability to make things go in the direction you want can dispel the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.
11. Crocheting Can Be a Form of Group Therapy
Crocheting can serve as an accessory to group therapy. With crocheting, members of the group can bond easily since they already share an interest in crocheting.
Crocheting can also serve as an ice breaker in group therapies; people can start off with conversations on crocheting then move on to deep talks.
Then as we already said, crocheting helps with depression, insomnia, stress, and anxiety. These effects will definitely come in handy when in group therapy.
12. It Can Improve Your Math Skills
Every step in crocheting requires careful calculation for optimal output. From counting the rows to creating patterns, repeating patterns, and knitting, math skills are required for the best results.
Most of the math you do while crocheting is subconscious. Nonetheless, the skills will transfer to your consciousness.
You may notice that as you keep crocheting, your output becomes better. This improvement in the quality of your crochets is, in part, due to your improving calculation skills.
13. Crocheting Can Help Control Unhealthy Eating Habits
Obviously, when you are crocheting, your hands are busy. Therefore, they cannot reach for food.
So, by keeping your hands occupied through crocheting, you can control some unhealthy eating habits.
14. Crocheting Keeps Your Fingers Nimble
Crocheting can serve as a way to retain the strength in your fingers as you grow older. This advantage is helpful to people whose jobs require them to use their hands often.
If arthritis or joint pain is limiting your finger mobility, recurrent crocheting motion can mitigate the symptoms.
15. Crocheting Can Be an Escape When Processing Grief
The grief of losing someone can be a lot to bear. The constant inability to return to being functional and the feeling that the world stopped can be really hard to take.
At such times, you can crochet to pass the time and escape all the gloomy feelings. Crocheting distracts from the pain. Besides, the colorfulness and texture of the yarn can spark some soothing warmth inside you.
While crocheting will not take the grief away, it makes it bearable and gets you closer to getting back to your old self.
16. Crocheting Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
As we said before, crocheting can help you relax and reduce stress and insomnia.
Stress and sleeplessness are some of the factors that can cause a rise in blood pressure. So, as crocheting helps reduce them, you may experience a healthy drop in your blood pressure.