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Betsan Corkhill: Being Mindful Whilst Crafting

Added February 23
Betsan Corkhill: Being Mindful Whilst Crafting

We caught up with Betsan Corkhill, founder of Stitchlinks and author of Knit for Health and Wellness, to find out more about the benefits of crafting.

“There has been a sudden surge of interest in mindfulness recently. Society used to be more scornful of ‘new age’ approaches, but medical research has shown changes in brain structure as a result of mindfulness practice, so we have real, persuasive evidence of its benefits.

We’re also accepting that traditional medicine doesn’t have a fix for most long-term conditions, and that medication isn’t always the answer. People are more open to trying mindfulness as an alternative as they realise that it doesn’t need to have spiritual connotations, as it did traditionally.

Mindfulness isn’t always relaxing though. It may mean coming face to face with unpleasant thoughts, sensations or pain, which can be difficult to deal with. It also isn’t beneficial to everyone; some aren’t helped by it, or find it too challenging. There are no activities which are intrinsically mindful either, but they can be – when you know how to do it.

Most things can be done mindfully, by getting off autopilot and noticing the detail in the moment. When you are focussing on the present there is no past or future to worry about, so it can help to ease anxiety. But, it can be quite challenging and requires persistence and perseverance to learn, which is particularly difficult if you are already stressed or have a health problem.

Crafting is a good introduction to the practice, as thinking about the process, textures and colours involved can make it much easier to learn how to be mindful, especially for beginners.

The two-handed, cross-body, rhythmic movements of knitting and crochet make it easier to enter a meditative-like state. Plus, you can use crafting as therapy any time, anywhere – in the middle of the night, on a bus, even in bed.”


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