Knitting Health: Knitting Helps Mental Health and Wellbeing

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A woman smiling while knitting in bed with a text overlay which says ", Knitting Health: Knitting Helps Mental Health and Wellbeing, This age old hobby gives more that just simple enjoyment" followed by the LKO lettermarkKnitting helps mental health. Is that why we knit? Or is it because we love the finished product we spend hours creating? Or maybe it is the look of gratitude or thanks from our loved ones when we hand them a finished jumper, scarf or beanie?

From numerous studies, scientists discovered that it might be something completely different.

Many researchers believe that the natural dopamine released while knitting is a natural anti-depressant. This leads many to speculate that the natural high people experience while knitting has further implications than simple enjoyment.

They believe a link exists between those who engage in creative activities like knitting and the ability for a person to reduce the cognitive impairment more often associated with ageing.

Maybe this is the reason many tout knitting as a new form of yoga, supporting the notion that knitting helps mental health. The calming effect it has over those who regularly engage in the activity influences mood and mental health more than you might expect.

Why Knitting Helps Mental Health

Like a good book, knitting is one of those activities that helps us escape our daily toils, leaving the world of our realities behind as we engage in a craft hundreds of years old. Many surveys of regular knitters revealed a commonality between them.

While most stated they felt very happy while knitting, there was a lot more to their answers to follow. It may be the reasons why they knitted in the first place that helps them overcome some of the challenges faced by others who didn’t.

Most who pick up knitting needles regularly, reported that they knitted to relax and relieve the stresses from their lives.

Those who knitted more often than others often reported a lot more emotional and mental relief from stress. They stated feeling more confident, less anxious, less sad and a lot happier both during and after knitting.

Some Other Side-Effects

But feeling less stress and being happier is just the start of the positive effects of knitting. While a lot of the mental well-being knitting offers is one side of the coin, the other side is filled with an abundance of extra benefits.

Knitting uses a bunch of skills that all come together to improve the creator in many ways. The brain develops much better hand-eye coordination to those regular knitters, improving problem-solving as well. There’s also better spatial awareness when dabbling with your needles.

But my favorite benefits are the ones that make knitting so fun. It provides social and psychological benefits as well, contributing to our overall quality of life. There’s a real sense of achievement and pride, knitting helping you achieve a sense of creativity, patience and above all, perseverance.

Knitting while in a group, also proves to be far more beneficial than those who prefer to knit alone. So, next time you head out and catch up with friends, consider taking along your knitting needles. Who knows? It may just be that extra bit of achievement you’re looking for. It is after all, a hobby suitable for anyone of any age.


  1. I suffered a concussion 3 years ago and have not fully recovered yet. Having been a busy teacher my life changed. Starting knitting, a year ago, has help tremendously giving me a sense of achievement, increasing my concentration span and calming me down. I dont even mind undoing mistakes now whereas when I first started it felt like the end of the world! The pride and joy I get when one of my grandchildren wears something I’ve knitted is fantastic.

    • And it’s much less expensive than doctor bills.
      Oh wait, that might not be true (As I look at the size of my stash) :o)

  2. I am in my seventies & live alone. I have a daughter who lives very near but is very busy with a hectic schedule. I see her maybe twice a month. I was depressed, lonely anxious & bored. One day I remembered that I used to knit & started it again. I am a new person! Can’t wait to start the day! Choosing yarn with all the beautiful colors is also very therapeutic to me. Thank you so much for your article. I am living proof of every word in it.

  3. Something that might be missing from this article is this:
    Many of us participate in charitable knitting because we can wear only so many jumpers and socks, and while we have a limited number of friends and relatives that we can gift to, we simply MUST make something with all this yarn!
    So when we produce and share these beautiful charitable items , we benefit from the soothing Balm of Gilead that comes from helping and showing love to others.

  4. barbara Adrianzen

    I am 83 and I knit for abandoned babies. Although I have a few basic patterns I draw up my own designs – using many colors – which, I write down on paper row by row before I start to knit my project. This certainly gives my brain a good workout and the results are that depression, anxiety and listlessness never knock at my door.

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