Crochet heals for so very many reasons. But today I want to highlight one key reason: focusing on the craft in your hands gets you out of your own head!
BREAKING THE CYCLE OF RUMINATION
When you are dealing with almost any chronic illness, mental or physical, you run the risk of having your mind get the best of you. The constant worries and fears about what’s going to happen next, the endless thoughts about how you aren’t doing enough right now, the negative self-talk … it all adds up and piles more problems on top of whatever health problem is causing the issues in the first place. I know from experience that this is a terrible part of depression and can understand how it’s a problem in other illnesses as well. If you can break the cycle of rumination then you can reduce at least some of the psychological pain that you may be experience. Crochet helps to break the cycle of rumination by getting you out of your head to focus on the stitches at hand.
WHY IT WORKS
In my experience, some of the reasons that crochet helps to break the negative cycle of rumination include:
- The counting of stitches provides a focus for the mind that isn’t on word-based thoughts.
- The tangible activity of moving the yarn and hook draws the attention to the immediate action of what is happening in the hands.
- The soothing relaxation of the craft helps slow down the brain’s rapid thinking process.
- Crochet can help with mindfulness and the act of being in the moment instead of in the head.
By taking yourself outside of your head and doing something physical, but not strenuous, with your hands you are able to provide your brain with some breathing room and this breathing room leads to healing.
SIMPLE MINDFULNESS EXERCISE FOR CROCHETERS
Mindfulness is a state of being fully aware and immersed in the actions of the present moment. When you are focused on the present, you can’t be upset about things that happened in the past or worrying about things that are going to happen in the future. You can only be right here in this moment experiencing what is happening right in front of you.
Crochet can be used to practice mindfulness. By actively focusing on the project in your hands, you can stay in tune with the present moment. This gives your mind and body a much needed break from any stressors in your life and can be a terrific part of a total wellness plan.
EXERCISE FOR CROCHETERS
Read through the exercise first then find a quiet space in your home to practice the exercise.
Select a crochet hook and yarn that are both easy to work with. Sit still with your work in your lap. All that you are going to be doing is making a long crochet chain. You will slowly work each loop of the chain, counting each loop as you make it. Focus all of your attention on making one loop at a time and not allowing any other thoughts to creep in. Every time that you notice a thought, frog the chain (meaning just take it apart) and start over.