I don't know about you, but I find crocheting and knitting to be extremely rewarding hobbies. Keeping my hands busy is the best way for me to avoid mindless snacking, and I also love the result of a well-knitted project.
I picked up the hobby in high school after my Nana taught me how to make dish cloths, and I remember my friends asking me why I was doing it. I didn't have any real reason for them, there was just something about it that I loved.
But now a study from the University of Wollongong Australia has provided scientific evidence that crocheting can greatly improve your mental health. Of the 8,000 people interviewed, 99% of participants were female, and 50% of those women were between the ages of 41 and 60. All of them considered crocheting a hobby.
The study concluded that crocheting can have an immensely positive effect on not only memory and focus, but also relief from depression and anxiety.
"The results from the survey show that crocheting provides many positive benefits for people in terms of well-being," Dr. Pippa Burns told Martha Stewart. "Being aware that crocheting can provide positive benefits may encourage people to take up the hobby as a self-care strategy."
Seventy percent of the participants reported an improvement in memory, while 82% found themselves happier and less stressed.
This isn't the first connection made between crafting and mental health, either.
In 2015, clinical neuropsychologist Catherine Carey Levisay talked about how crafting is important.
"There's promising evidence coming out to support what a lot of crafters have known anecdotally for quite some time," said Levisay. "And that's that creating -- whether it be through art, music, cooking, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography (or) cake decorating -- is beneficial to us in a number of important ways.
"Dopamine, in and of itself, is our natural anti-depressant," Levisay continued. "Any time we can find a non-medicinal way to stimulate that reward center ... the better off we're going to be."
So there you have it! The next time someone asks you why you spend so much time crocheting, tell them it's just what the doctor ordered!