Mindfulness and Crochet

A photo of a yellow crochet happy face with two black toy eyes and a smiley little red mouth. The face is still being worked on

Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword these days, and as such some have become a bit dismissive of it, but the movement towards mindfulness is an important one in a hectic and often worrying world where caring for our mental health is ever more important. Mindfulness is defined as “living in the now”, taking time to experience the present moment and the thoughts and feelings that go with it, rather than rushing off (mentally or physically) to deal with the next thing.

Crochet, like knitting and similar crafts, is an excellent tool for promoting mindfulness, especially when you are working on a piece that doesn’t require a lot of concentration. The repetitive nature of the craft lends itself to allowing yourself to take stock of your own thoughts, feelings and experiences of the moment. This does not in itself stop you from going off into a mad panic in your head as per normal, but if you train yourself to be practice mindfulness while crocheting, then the craft helps to facilitate that “in the moment” experience. I guess it is almost like meditation in a way; the repetitive nature of the work, including the counting of stitches, tends to de-clutter the mind and leave it open to the experience of the now. That is why, although I love to crochet while watching telly or listening to an audiobook, I always give myself a couple of hours in the morning when there is just the quiet and crochet together. For some it might work better in the evening just before bedtime, or even during the day.

Whatever suits you best. Just remember as you crochet to ignore those thoughts about the next day at work, or that room you need to decorate or that appointment you have to keep. Move the hook, tug the yarn, count the stitches, listen to the sound of your breathing and your heartbeat. Appreciate that you are able to, with subtle and almost automatic movements, turn the yarn into fabric. Then, when the busy, everyday thoughts begin to try to intrude, and they will, recognise them for what they are; “this is the worry I have about work, but I am not at work now”, “this is the thought from my past that haunts me, but it is the present and the past is gone”. Recognise them for what they are in that moment, but realise that you don’t have to ride with them now. Let them pass and count the stitches as you watch them go.

Note: There are many excellent, and informed, resources on the Internet about Mindfulness if you want to learn more. I just crochet and does what comes naturally to me 🙂

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