The Art of Relaxation: The Role of Handicrafts

It seems as if we are leading busier lives than ever before. Real-world concerns such as money, employment, family and what the future may have in store all serve to hamper our ability to enjoy inner peace. It is therefore no surprise that a growing number of individuals are suffering from ailments such as stress, anxiety and even depression. The good news is that many of these situations are avoided if we are able to return to our “centre” state and relax the mind. Let’s take a look at how sewing and similar types of handicrafts can play a significant role.

The Power of Concentration

From a very basic standpoint, meditation revolves around the simple principle of focusing our attention upon a specific task or thought. Monks have been utilising this approach for centuries and while the modern world has given birth to several variants, the underlying actions are still the same. Were you aware that hobbies such as sewing, painting or building models can produce similar results? This arises from the fact that these activities require a great deal of mental attention in order to perform them correctly. In turn, the mind tends to “drown out” extraneous emotions such as fear, anxiety and future projections. We are very much at one with the world around us and living in the present.

Achieving a State of Relaxation

Knitting and sewing also help us to relax due to the fact that we are no longer consciously aware of time. You have likely already experienced this sensation. Have you ever sat down to do a bit of knitting only to realise that what felt like ten minutes was actually one hour? This is another sign that your mind has entered into a state of tranquillity. In fact, certain meditative techniques such as the “Flow State” fully embrace this unique benefit. When we begin to lose ourselves in something that we enjoy, the stress and tension will naturally melt away.

The Mind Affecting the Body

Skilled activities including sewing are known to produce a positive impact upon the mind. We should nonetheless point out that the body is also affected. One recent study showed that those who engaged in sewing or knitting on a regular basis exhibited lower blood pressure. Their heart rates were slower and their circulation was said to increase. This is likely caused by the “feel-good” hormones that are released when we are performing a task that we enjoy. These hormones are also known to alleviate sensations of depression or isolation; a very important benefit if you happen to be prone to such thoughts.

How to Incorporate Sewing into Your Daily Routine

First and foremost, always allow yourself some time each day to sit down and knit or sew. Even if this window is only open for 20 minutes, you will still experience mental benefits. Additionally, try to determine which types of knitting suit you the best. Take into account factors such as the level of difficulty, sewing patterns and the time necessary to complete a project. You will likely be able to encounter the most appropriate activities based upon your personality. Handicrafts are excellent forms of meditation and thankfully, their associated benefits are much closer than you believe.

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