Knitting has been and continues to be a good friend to me since I was a little girl. I love choosing just the right yarn, selecting colors and pattern. I love the rhythmic click, click of my needles as I knit along the rows watching my creation grow. I love the peaceful, Zen-like state I slip into after a few minutes of knitting.  Whatever stress or worry or concern I had drifts  lazily into the background of my mind as soon as I pick up my knitting.

Not only do I enjoy the creative process, the knitting — a sweater, socks, or scarf — from a simple ball of yarn, I have discovered over the years, that knitting has helped me heal, helped me knit myself back together. When I has 10 I had a bad bicycle accident and stayed home from school laying on the couch for six weeks.  Mom bought me yarn and needles, and I made an afghan. Not only did it give me a positive project to focus on, but I remained calm and peaceful.  After a breakup of a relationship, I took up my yarn and needles to soothe and heal myself.

Last year, I had some surgery surgery.  As soon as I was able, I took to my needles.  Even though I couldn’t do much, I could watch my nephew’s sweater take shape before my eyes. The satisfaction and distraction comforted me and helped me manage my pain.

I discovered that studies show knitting has some of the same benefits as meditation; its reduces stress, depression and anxiety. It can improve motor function and reduce memory loss. So, if you don’t knit or crochet, what do you do that relaxes you; that lights you up; that gives you quiet joy; that brings you peace. I strongly you suggest you find a friendly activity like knitting.

Jill Raiguel, MFT, is the author of several books and articles including Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. Having been a Cal Poly Pomona, Ca, adjunct professor, she was a psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group in San Bernardino, Ca. She has a private practice using her innovative and shamanic techniques. She trains and teaches nationwide.  Visit or jillraiguel@gmail.coimage2 (2)

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