There are many benefits to cross stitch, and when stitchers are asked, their responses usually fall into one of these categories:
Focus: Stitching allows the mind to concentrate on one thing, instead of being distracted or scattered over everything else that is going on. It provides a distraction from worry, and the creative process is often associated with a lessening of anxiety.
Calm: The act of doing the same stitch over and over contributes to a sense of peace, almost like a meditation.
Community: With the recent upswing in the popularity of this classic art form, it is easy to find craft groups and Facebook friends who share this beautiful hobby.
Stress Reduction: With modern life typically being such a whirlwind of activity, cross stitch can provide a quiet time for reflection and calm. It is not something that can be done in a minute, it takes time, and a long-term view is needed. Some projects can take years to complete, and this inspires patience.
Sense of Accomplishment: Whether it’s a huge project that takes years to complete, or a small Christmas ornament that can be finished in one day, the act of creating something beautiful can provide a feeling of achievement. Seeing your finished project on display can make you feel great!
Distraction: When going through really difficult circumstances, it can be really helpful to divert attention away from the problems, and become absorbed in a completely different activity. It can even help other parts of your brain (unconsciously) ponder your situation and provide insights.
Mental agility: Whether from health issues, stress, medication, or just simply aging, our brain’s ability to process information can slow down over time. Mental exercises are proven to help slow this process, and mend it (depending on the reason). Concentrating, counting, planning, all integral parts of cross stitching, are excellent at providing some brain gymnastics.
So, grab a needle and thread, and a piece of fabric, and start stitching!