I recently came across an article called Why Crafting is Great For Your Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains. As we have discussed multiple times here, many of us feel a calm sense of meditation and mindfulness when we are quilting. I am happy that the article backs up our feelings of connection and meaning with recent research:
Research shows that knitting and other forms of textile crafting such as sewing, weaving and crocheting have quite a lot in common with mindfulness and meditation — all are reported to have a positive impact on mind health and well-being.
Also according to the article, below are 10 ways crafting (specifically with friends) may improve mental wellness:
- Mental challenge and problem solving
- Social connection
- Development of hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness and fine motor dexterity
- Learning and teaching
- Focusing attention and thoughts on a task
- Encouraging active creativity
- Gives a sense of pride and achievement
- Teaches patience and perseverance
- Facilitates memory formation and retrieval
Another description of the mental state that can be achieved during crafting (in our case, quilting) is what has been coined as a state of “flow”. According to Wikipedia,
In positive psychology, flow, also known as zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. Named by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields, though has existed for thousands of years under other guises, notably in some eastern religions. Achieving flow is often referred to as being in the zone.
A chart depicting Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s model of flow showing the relationship between the challenge of a task and the skill level associated with the task is shown below. I can definitely relate to moving across different boundaries in this description depending on how challenged I felt or appropriately skilled I felt for a given quilting task!
Can you relate to feeling mindful, meditative, or in a state of flow while sewing / quilting? Are there any factors you have noticed that help you achieve and stay in that state of mind?