Stitch Your Way to A Better You: The Very Real Mental Health Benefits of Cross-Stitch
Roughly, 1 in every 4 people in the UK experiences some form of mental health concern each year, according to the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity in England survey. With the prevalence of these issues, it helps to find ways that can help you deal with common mental health concerns like anxiety or stress. As it turns out, cross-stitching is more than just a fun hobby; it also has some very real mental health benefits for you.
One of the symptoms or manifestations of mental health issues is the feeling that you’ve lost control, according to Angela Sweeny. Cross-stitch can help you regain control by giving you something to have full authority over. You get to choose what pattern to bring to life. You also get to choose which parts of the pattern to start with. You can even choose to implement other types of stitches through the use of sewing machines to enhance your cross-stitch project. Regardless of what you choose to do, the simple fact that you have complete power helps to keep any feelings that you’ve lost control away.
Feelings of anger, sadness, fear, and frustration—which are all damaging to your mental health—typically stem from stress, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Cross-stitching is a proven method to reduce stress as it allows you to work at your own pace. A study conducted by the Home Sewing Association found that persons that sew or do cross-stitch experience lower blood pressure and a decrease in their heart rate. All signs are pointing to it being an effective tool in helping you relax after a trying day. It also doesn’t hurt that cross-stitch gives you a moment to slow down to think over any decisions that you’ll need to make in your day.
Maintain Cognitive Vitality
If you find yourself struggling to remember things, that may be a side effect of a mental health issue like anxiety or depression. Cross-stitch can help you maintain your cognitive vitality by keeping you present and engaged. Following a pattern means having to remember how many stitches are required and what direction they need to go. These little exercises keep your mind healthy and active.
Regardless of what’s on your mind, you can be sure that once you start reading a cross-stitch pattern and bringing it to life, your troubles will dissipate from your thoughts. This only proves that cross-stitch is the perfect gateway to mental health maintenance and self-care. So pick out a pattern that fits your experience level to start reaping the benefits it brings.
Welcome to Manbroidery, a series of interviews with men who stitch. This time we interview Walter Bruno Brix who plays with textile illustration to explore history and identity.
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