Knitting Heralded as Help for Anxiety

kntiting anxiety depressionIt seems like every few months there’s an article that gets a lot of notice about how great knitting and other crafts are for people’s health.

The latest one is from CNN. “This is your brain on knitting” opens by talking about a woman who used knitting to help with anxiety after her brother died, and goes on to talk about how knitting and other crafts can be as helpful as meditation in calming the mind and providing benefits to the brain.

In fact, crafts that offer a challenge — and there’s always more to learn when it comes to knitting — are even thought to slow cognitive decline that happens as we age. And when you spend your time in an enjoyable pursuit — which we certainly hope knitting is for you — it activates pleasure and reward centers in the brain that can calm bad moods and even lessen symptoms of depression. Which any knitter knows who has run to her needles to prevent an outburst at spouse or child.

If you have stories about how knitting has helped you, I’d love to hear them!

[Photo via CNN.]


  1. Maureen says

    I learned to knit after I had been in the hospital for a rather serious health issue. I was afraid to drive a lot of places but I could drive from where I live to my home town (14 miles away). This is where my parents live and there was a local yarn store there. My mother set me up with lessons. It helped me through this issue and through the health situations of other family members (serious ones too). It helped me when I had surgeries a few years ago and when I was home I was not allowed to drive for a few weeks. I kept myself busy and sane by knitting. It helps now too when I am anxious and worried. It is my Tension tamer or relaxation technique.

  2. Amy McGlynn says

    I struggle with depression, and the repetitive meditative act of knitting is very soothing, with the bonus of the feeling of having done something when I finish a project!

  3. says

    While knitting has helped me cope better with my depression and has given me an outlet instead of following through with triggers, it has not cured my depression or anxiety. I wish it was the case.

  4. Brenda says

    Crocheting calms my nerves. My knitting is not very good. Maybe I need a lesson. I think both have the same quality to calm us.

  5. Melissa says

    I picked up knitting when my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. It gave me something to do besides worry about him. I continued knitting when my son’s had to begin therapy for sensory issues and such. It helped take my mind off of things and gave me something to do amongst all the office visits. I continue knitting because it calms me. As I am knitting a gift or donation item, I think about the person I am knitting it for and wish for their happiness and health. When I’m done with the gift, a long prayer has been said for them and I feel happiness giving away such a gift, a little wish of love.

  6. Jackie says

    I have chronic pain, among other health issues, and it really helps take my mind off of it! It’s extremely calming to me, and friends love my creations…

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