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If you’re feeling a little stressed or having a hard time concentrating and remembering things, you’re not alone. A 2021 study from the American Psychological Association reported that 47% of American adults experienced feelings of anxiety and 67% of people said they felt overwhelmed by recent events in the last year.
Some good stress relievers to try on your own include yoga, meditation, journaling and even exercise. For those of us who like to create something with our hands, though, a new study shows that crocheting might find a place among those other popular therapeutic activities.
The 2020 study, completed by Pippa Burns, Ph.D., and Rosemary Van Der Meer, Ph.D., of the University of Wollongong in Australia, looked at how the yarn craft of crochet might be connected to a person’s well-being. Results from the study of crocheters (known as “Happy Hookers” in the research papers), showed that of the 8,000 participants, nearly 90% of them reported that crocheting made them “feel calm” and 82% of them felt “happier.”
But which aspects of crochet contribute to these good vibes? Study respondents cited a number of reasons for their love of crochet, including interacting with the yarn texture and selecting colors to use in a project. Other crocheters said the craft’s repetitive nature and structure of stitches within patterns provided a sense of order and calm in their hectic minds.
Memory and concentration were other benefits study participants highlighted in their responses to how crochet positively impacts their thoughts and feelings. Approximately 74% of crocheters reported the craft is good for their memory and nearly 71% of them said crochet improves their concentration.
These recent findings of the connections between crocheting are also supported by the American Counseling Association. The organization published a summary of a variety of studies that showed how crocheting and knitting could help ease insomnia, slow down dementia symptoms and even improve reading comprehension skills.
So, if you’re looking for a new hobby to help settle your mind and your nerves, try picking up a crochet hook and some yarn. You might not only get a lovely new hat or blanket out of your new hobby but also some peace of mind and a sense of calm you’ve been searching for.