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Crocheting: Just for Grandmas?

Struggling with anxiety and stress is a challenge that faces almost all college students, yet traditional solutions such as meditation and yoga don’t necessarily work well for everyone. Relieving stress and anxiety is much easier said than done. Many of us have heard the phrase “You need to find a way to relieve your stress,” yet we have no idea where to even begin. Here is a place to start!  

When I first started to crochet, it was simply because I wanted to learn something new, which would eventually provide a lot of low-cost holiday gifts. Yet as I started to delve deeper into various patterns and yarn of all colors, I felt more of a bond to my new hobby.  

The repetitive motions of looping in and out and lengthening my work row by row would help turn on my brain and put me into an almost meditative state. Putting on my favorite show and crocheting became my favorite way to unwind after a stressful day, or even just take a break in the middle of one. I soon found out that crocheting and relaxation goes hand in hand for many people.  

Studies have shown that the repetitive and rhythmic motions of both crocheting and knitting can serve as a method to calm the mind. Patients with PTSD who take up crocheting and knitting have less flashbacks and other affiliated symptoms. The precise hand movements that are required when crocheting or knitting also helps the brain to focus only on one activity, which helps the mind to block out any other distractions that you may be facing. Focusing on an activity that doesn’t require much brain power is soothing and acts as a comfort.  

Meditation can work wonders for certain individuals, but for me it can be hard to reach a state of complete mindfulness, especially when the stress of college life creeps into my thoughts or my phone starts buzzing. Crocheting works for me in a similar way to meditation where I can focus on something that is free of stress while also feeling productive. The mental health benefit mixed with the sense of accomplishment knowing that you make it one stitch at a time makes crocheting a worthwhile hobby to learn.  

So next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed, pick up your favorite color of yarn and turn your brain off. You deserve it! 

 

Freshman at Bentley University
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