In my first blog, Why I FINALLY Started My Own Business, I mentioned how I started crocheting during the pandemic to relieve anxiety. What I didn't mention is that my fingers were completely raw from biting and picking at my cuticles. I have a form of OCD that causes me to have compulsions to bite and pick my skin. I was desperate for anything that could help me slow down the picking and allow my fingers to heal. In therapy, it came up that I should try activities that keep my hands busy. A survey done by the University of Wollongong Australia showed that crochet made people feel calmer, happier, and able to focus.

" Of the 8,000 crocheters surveyed, 90% said crocheting made them feel calmer, while 82% said it made them feel happier. More than 70% said it improved their memory and concentration." (apartmenttherapy.com)

I picked up a crochet hook and the rest is history! What surprised me was the benefits of crochet didn't stop at just keeping my hands busy. The gentle, rhythmic motions were calming my mind. It turns out there are three primary reasons crochet can be a great tool for improving mental health. 

The Benefits of Crochet

1. Mindfulness 

Crochet requires focus in order to create a beautiful end product. Having that focus allows your brain to rest from anxiety and stress. I find the more challenging the crochet pattern, the more relaxed and in the zone I find myself. It brings me to the present moment. I know many people who have had success in meditation. I suck at it! as someone who chronically struggles with ticks and compulsions, it is literally my worst nightmare to be forced into a situation where I have to be perfectly still. Crochet has many of the benefits of meditation while incorporating some movement.  

Crochet is Calming

2. A sense of accomplishment

I think everyone enjoys the feeling of completing a task or project they have worked hard on. Completing a crochet project is an incredible feeling! It gives me so much confidence to know I can make beautiful things with my hands and share them with other people. My creations truly bring me happiness.  

Crochet is Peaceful

3. Playful creativity

 The process of creating something from scratch is SO. MUCH. FUN. It reminds me of being a kid and what a blast I had doing crafts. Research shows that play is just as important for adults as children (NPR.org)! Taking a break from responsibility to play is essential to finding fulfillment. Crochet is a fantastic avenue for playing with your creative side. 

The benefits of crocheting are great but what if you don't know where to start? Good news! There are TONS of amazing resources on this subject! Youtube & Pinterest are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to crochet. Another great way to start is to use a pattern. Grab my Bags by Bento Tote Bag Pattern made specifically for beginners to give it shot! I will be sharing crochet tips and tricks on my Instagram & Pinterest so be sure to give me a follow for future video tutorials. I'm sending you all the good vibes for your crochet journey and would LOVE to see your creations! Share them with me at bagsbybento@gmail.com 

Jute Tote Bag Pattern

xoxo,

Taylor Bento

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