Today is World Mental Health Day: Using Embroidery to De-Stress

The World Health Organization recognizes World Mental Health Day on October 10th every year. Mental health problems exist in our lives, families, workplaces and communities, impacting everyone. World Mental Health Day gives us a chance to talk about mental health in general, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to talk about things and get help if you are struggling. We must do as much as possible to prevent mental ill-health – as individuals and as a society.

As individuals, we can manage our daily stress through different avenues depending on personal preferences. Some spend time with friends and family, some spend time in prayer and meditation and others seek solitude through a creative outlet. Studies have found that the repetitive motion of stitching, triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which quiets the natural fight or flight response to stress. Concentrating on a creative project helps take a person’s mind of a certain source of stress and physically calm down. The sense of accomplishment can boost mental health and improve our immune system, as relief from the pressure of multitasking is replaced by focussing on one thing.

Embroidery also cultivates mindfulness. Mindfulness is an important aspect of mental health that involves self-awareness. In other words, it requires the ability to know yourself, what you’re feeling, and what you believe about something. Mindfulness can be interrupted by a variety of things. For instance, the stressors of life, feelings of anxiety, negative thinking, overthinking or planning, and not allowing your body to get adequate rest can all result in poor mindfulness. Participating in embroidery is shown to boost self-awareness, self-worth, and encourage overall well-being.

So, put down your phone, grab some friends or family or find a quiet nook all to yourself, grab your favorite embroidery kit and start to feel the calming effect of stitching today!

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