Knitting has always helped me to relax. In a recent article, I observed that one of the real benefits of knitting was its ability to calm the nerves and create a meditative state. One reader commented that she thought the brain waves of knitters were actually in a blissful state, like those of Buddhist monks during meditation.

Now research is supporting that observation. Let’s look at the findings to understand how to follow your bliss and experience the mental health benefits of knitting.

Neuroscientists have documented that knitting and creative crafts can have positive effects on the brain, just like puzzles, games, and meditation. In fact, there are many similarities between the benefits of meditation and the benefits of knitting. It looks increasingly like tasks that require single minded attention, calm the brain.

In an interview on the Sixty and Me show, Dr. Medina reminded us that the brain was not built for multi-tasking. In a world filled with distractions, there is a lot to be said for activities like meditation and crafts that force us to engage on one activity at a time.

Other research seems to imply that knitting can help us to feel happier. A survey undertaken by the British Journal of Occupational Therapy reported that 81% of respondents with depression said they felt happier after knitting with over half saying they were very happy. Now, I’m sure that the same would be true for any engaging task that you truly love, but, if you’re looking for a place to start, knitting may be just the ticket.

If you want to get started knitting, you may want to check out Craftsy. It offers online classes on all kinds of hobbies like cake decorating, quilting, knitting, photography, weaving, embroidery and much more.

What are the hobbies that keep you calm and filled with a sense of well-being? Please leave your comments below.

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