Knitting and other repetitive craft activities have been proven to help people feel calmer, happier and less stressed. These effects are a natural part of the crafts we love. So how can we improve on this?
Here are a few tips to bring more happiness into our craft (and our daily lives in general):
1. At least some of the time, turn off the TV and other distractions and just focus on the pleasure of your knitting or crochet. As time passes, you may find you’re enjoying your craft even more and begin to look forward to this peaceful time during your day.
2. Get in the habit of asking yourself why you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing (whilst crafting or in daily tasks). For example, “I’m knitting this for my granddaughter. I’m making it with love, to warm both her mind and her body: what a wonderful gift!”, or “I’m crocheting this for charity, so my time is being put to good use”, or in daily life, “I’m cleaning the floors so when the others return, they'll have a clean, healthy environment to enjoy”. Consciously thinking about the reasons why we do something can help us feel more positive about even the most menial tasks, and also help us identify activities that take up a lot of our time without really benefiting us.
3. If your feeling time poor but have chosen to take time out to knit, give it your full attention, and enjoy every minute of it. All too often we spoil these precious moments of respite with guilt. Other chores can wait; for these few minutes you’re going to do something for yourself. When you return to your “To Do” list, you’ll feel refreshed and focused, and will ultimately become more productive - bringing a happier mindset with you when you do get back into it.
4. Be grateful too for the skills you’ve gained in your crafting - it's impossible to feel anything but happy when you're filled with gratitude! If you knit or crochet a lot, you may overlook how far you’ve come in your chosen craft and what an amazing achievement this is. You're so lucky to be able to craft beautiful handmade items for yourself, family, friends or charity. You also inspire gratitude in the receivers of your handiwork; so in additional to the physical gift, they receive the joy of gratitude as a lovely bonus!
5. When crafting, “check in” with your body every few minutes. What is your posture like? Are you holding tension anywhere? I have a tendency to gradually tense my right shoulder as I’m knitting, leading to muscle soreness and even headaches after a long session. Bringing body awareness to your work and stretching at least every 20-30 minutes can help you to avoid those little niggles that make your craft more difficult and less pleasurable.
6. Just smile! Our minds tend to focus on the negative, stressful and unpleasant more than the positive. If you’re getting lost in unpleasant memories or worries whilst crafting, take a few deep breaths, gently return your attention to your work, and bring a small smile to your face. Try thinking about the person who will wear your finished project, or recall why it is you’re making this item while you smile. Smiles can work both ways. We usually think of them as the end result of happy thoughts; but a smile can also put your mind on more positive track just by wearing it. Don’t take my word for it – give it a try yourself!
If any part of this resonates with you, why not try a change of pace? After all, a change can be as good as a holiday!
I hope these tips give you a few ideas on how you can unlock the potential for greater joy in your own knitting or crochet. Bringing this ‘presence’ to crafting, and even extending it to other areas of your daily life, will help you bring more vitality and positivity to your day. This will leave you feeling both healthier - and happier!
© 2018 Knitting Yarns by Mail