Thread Therapy – How to use hand embroidery to relax and relieve stress
Hand embroidery is the perfect way to relax and practice mindfulness. Once you have learned the basic stitches (click here for your embroidery lessons) you can use hand embroidery to unwind and increase your feeling of well-being.
What is mindfulness?
The word mindfulness has become the catch-all word for taking time to focus on yourself.
“Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”
The operative words for all mindfulness techniques are time and focus, especially focus on the here and now. Craft, particularly the act of stitching, seem to offer more than simply a distraction and can have a positive effect on your mood. Taking time for yourself and allowing your subconscious time to relax and process stressful thoughts can help your overall feeling of wellbeing.
With hand embroidery you cannot rush, you have to take the time to carefully pull the sharp needle through the fabric. The art of making tiny stitches forces you to carefully focus and as you become more accomplished with your stitching you can allow yourself to access an almost trance-like state. It can be easier for some to access this calm state with embroidery, or repetitive motion crafts like knitting and crochet, than simply meditating using breathing techniques as the focus.
Relaxing with hand embroidery at the Thread Therapy embroidery retreat
The science behind mindfulness and thread therapy
The repetitive action of stitching has been secretly offering us mindfulness therapy for thousands of years. We’re still using just a simple needle and thread and while we’re certainly not suggesting that stitching and hand embroidery is a panacea for anxiety or depression, it can help you to relax your mind and take the focus away from your everyday worries. For more information on the science of mindfulness through embroidery, read this interesting research by Mindful Stitch: Generating dialogue in and around the threads of wellbeing by Emma Swinnerton which offers an in-depth look at thread therapy.
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