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How Knitting Turned Out To Be My Own Personal Meditation

Posted: September 30, 2020

Every time I feel a rush of anxiety, I pick up my knitting needles. ‘Medknitation’ changed my life, read on to know more about it!

As someone who frequently goes through weeks of anxiety and depression, I have often been advised to try meditation as a technique to calm myself.

If you pick up any self help book, join a self improvement program, or go to any wellness retreat, meditation is likely going to be a major part of it. I, unfortunately, am not very good at it.

Meditation isn’t my cup of tea

This is what usually happens to me — I sit down with great focus and determination, close my eyes, concentrate on my breathing and wait for the magic to happen. But instead I start seeing psychedelic colours. And if that isn’t bad enough, I also start hearing all sorts of noises that frankly only bats should be able to hear.

The few times that I have managed to avoid the colours and the noises, I have fallen asleep, sitting in an upright position. All in all, meditation has so far been a colossal waste of time for me.

Knitting as meditation?

But then I stumbled upon something called ‘Medknitation’ while reading a book on knitting. I promise it is not a word I have made up. It is quite popular in the knitting world and simply means meditation while knitting or mindful knitting.

Knitting is something that I can do for hours without a break, so the idea of ‘Medknitation’ was something that really appealed to me. The more I thought I about it, the more I realised that I had unconsciously started practicing it. Every time I am knitting alone without any other distractions, I reach a trance like state or a state of higher consciousness, which is a quiet and serene place. That is probably why I enjoy knitting so much — for the sense of quietude it leaves me with.

If you think about it, it makes sense. After all what is meditation if not bringing your awareness to the present moment. It seems that the repeated clickety-clack motion of the needles forces your mind to stay in the present moment. It is like chanting or using a rosary — the repetitive motions reduce anxiety and create a sense of calmness.

Benefits of medknitation

I am not the only one saying this, the smart folks at Harvard say the same thing. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School’s Mind and Body Institute in 2007, found that knitting lowered the heart rate, by an average of 11 beats per minute, and induced an enhanced state of calm, similar to that of yoga. Another report — by a UK based organization, Knit for Peace (with 15000 knitters as members) — suggests that apart from its calming effects, knitting also has the ability to distract one from chronic pain and to alleviate depression.

I don’t know much about studies and reports, but I will say this– every time I feel a rush of anxiety or stress coming over me, I pick up my needles. Nine out of ten times I get distracted or at least manage to catch a breath before panicking or rushing into things. So based on my personal experience, my advice would be — Medknitation everyday, keeps the doctor away!

Picture Credits: Pexels

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Lawyer-Knitter-Dog Parent. I write about my own experiences of grappling with depression and

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