Creative Stress Relief


“Knitting?” “That was too slow for me.” My 80 year old mother responded to my statement that I was going to try knitting again. I was 8 years old when my mother began knitting back in the late 1960s. She had tried sewing and did not like it. When she started knitting, I thought she loved it. She knitted many beautiful items like sweaters, scarves, Christmas stockings. I tried to knit too. The brown scarf I tried to make was an uneven, wavy patch of yarn. I even managed to make an accidental button hole. To hear my mother say that knitting was “too slow” for her surprised me.

Then it hit me. That is exactly what I want. I want a slow activity that I can focus on completely; an activity that will take my mind off of the whirlwind of stuff that I have had to manage all day. I wanted to relieve my stress and knitting has been found to be a great stress reliever. It has also been found to relieve depressed feelings. A study published by the British Journal of Occupational Therapy touted the positive feelings respondents reported after knitting.

When we are happy and experience positive emotional feelings our brains release dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released when we participate in pleasurable activities. Runners experience what has been called the ‘runners high.’ Individuals feel good and experience pleasure when they engage in intimate activities.
Knitting requires concentration and focus to make sure the yarn tension is the same and the stitches are even. You have to keep track of the number of stitches and rows. Only the most experienced knitters could knit without thinking. The repetitive nature of knitting causes a calming relaxed feeling.

I will show you the finished product at some point. In the mean time, check out these articles.

10 Ways to Increase Dopamine without Medication
Why Knitting is the New Therapy

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M.L. Bailey Consultants, Inc. Copyright ©2016 Marcyline L. Bailey All Rights Reserved
Real Social Workers Online Magazine Copyright ©2016 Marcyline L. Bailey All Rights Reserved

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