It’s true. I’d get so nervous and upset while riding that I’d become irritable, unreasonable, and, well, bitchy. It’s all because my husband and I had great differences of opinion about such matters as how often to change lanes, how close to travel behind another vehicle, what to do when another driver makes a stupid mistake, and what sort of language (and level of sound) to bestow on other drivers.
Then I took up knitting. I’m good enough at it that I don’t need to stare at the yarn and needles, which lets me look around. But I found that knitting calmed me, diverted my attention just enough that I was less bothered by my surroundings. I was more serene and far less bitchy.
No, it’s not my imagination. Studies are showing that such crafts really are therapeutic. Occupational therapists use them to help reduce the symptoms of depression, among other things.
There is a neurological basis as well as well as a psychological basis for the stress-reduction and cognitive benefits. If you’re interested in learning more, go to the Washington Post Health and Science article titled “Might Crafts such as knitting offer long-term health benefits?”