Tell us and win: How do your hobbies keep you happy?

It’s not just cute kitties that can find happiness in a ball of yarn. For many of us, yarn-related hobbies

kittenwithyarn

It’s not just cute kitties that can find happiness in a ball of yarn. For many of us, yarn-related hobbies like knitting, crocheting, spinning or weaving help us stay balanced and calm amidst the turmoil of life. And if yarn isn’t your thing, maybe it’s gardening, woodworking, cooking or painting that helps you find your centre.

Lately, for me, it’s gardening. There’s something about working with plants that helps me find my contemplative side, and I love the tangible satisfaction of picking produce that I grew myself. I’m still waiting in anticipation for my first tomato of the season, but I’ve been enjoying salad greens, chard, carrots and fresh peas already, and they taste all the sweeter because they came from my garden.

I’m also a knitter born, even if I haven’t picked up my needles in ages’my mother taught me how when I was four or so and knitting has been a sporadic lifetime hobby. I’ve been feeling the urge to knit lately, mainly because I miss the meditative and stress-relieving aspects of the craft. I should really stop procrastinating!

Recently, I posted an article by writer Cynthia Reynolds on how crafts and home projects really can make you a happier person. She writes: “Mind-body expert Herbert Benson of Harvard University argues that those activities requiring repetitive actions, such as knitting, elicit what he calls the relaxation response‘a feeling of calm that infiltrates your mind and body, a feeling most often associated with meditation.”

So tell us: What do you think? How do your hobbies keep you happy?

As an incentive, we’re offering a great prize courtesy of Patons. Just enter your tip in the comments below by Sunday, July 12 at 11:59 pm EDT and we’ll pick one lucky winner to receive a gift basket of Patons yarn, plus a pattern book, with a total value of $88.85. (Click here for full contest rules.) Make sure to send this blog post on to your friends so they have a chance to win, too!

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