Use Your Knitting to Change Your Mindset

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The concept of mindset is so powerful: if you’re aware of your own mindset, then you can begin to understand how to change it when you aren’t happy with it. Mindset isn’t something we’re born with - it’s something we create for ourselves, and if that’s the case, that means we can change it, too.

In case you’re not familiar with the term, mindset refers to your established set of attitudes; in general terms, it’s how you look at the world and your role in it. If you have a positive mindset (sometimes also referred to as a “growth mindset”), you generally believe that you are capable of overcoming obstacles, rising to challenges, and handling whatever comes your way. It’s not that you don’t acknowledge that life is hard sometimes, but rather, that you’re able to handle those situations and recover from hardships because of your mindset.

Sounds pretty good, right?

We can actually cultivate the type of mindset we want to have, and believe it or not, knitting can help! The best way to change your mindset and move toward one that is more positive or growth-oriented is to give yourself opportunities to succeed, overcome obstacles, and face challenges. Using knitting just makes it more fun!

Here are some tips for using knitting to change your mindset:

Use Knitting as Meditation

Understanding how you’re feeling and what your attitude is in the moment is the first step to changing your mindset. After all, if you don’t know your mindset, how can you change it? Choose a simple knitting project - like a garter stitch scarf or a pair of stockinette socks - and as you work the stitches, remind yourself to pay attention to your mindset, not just in that moment but as a review of your whole day and how your mindset may have changed throughout. If you aren’t happy with your mindset for the day, try to think of one thing you could do to improve it tomorrow. When you’re finished, take a few minutes to jot it down in a notebook or journal so you can track your progress.

Give Yourself a Challenge

Knitting is a great way to learn to overcome obstacles and face challenges. Even for an experienced knitter, there are patterns out there that will push you to the limits of your skills and give you a challenge. Choose a pattern that is more complicated or difficult than what you’ve made in the past. Take your time, do your research, and really work through that pattern until you’re able to complete it successfully. Then, the all-important work happens: take the time to truly celebrate your success and recognize your accomplishments! Each time you do this, it serves as a reminder to yourself that you are capable of doing hard things.

Try Something Different

Knitting can also be a way to step outside your comfort zone, which encourages you to be adaptable and flexible. Choose a pattern that is different (but not necessarily more difficult) than what you normally knit. Maybe this is the year you make your first socks, or garment. If you can’t think of an out-of-the-box pattern, try a color that’s totally different from what you would normally choose, or a stitch pattern. You may be surprised by the results! Even if you’re not thrilled with the FO, you can always give it away to someone else. And in the process of knitting that item, you will have reminded yourself that sometimes different can be fun!

How will you use knitting to change YOUR mindset this year?