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Knitting and Stress Relief

You came home from a long day at work. You are exhausted. You are totally stressed. What's next? You find yourself in front of the freezer reaching for ice cream or you are pouring yourself a glass of wine? Try to pick your needles instead and knit...

...Easy Knit Bracelet

If you are a beginner, knitting a bracelet would be good for you to start. If you are experienced knitter, you can knit a bracelet in very short time. To knit a bracelet you can use any yarn: special color yarns or just your yarn leftovers.
Cast on 33 stitches; needles #3.
Odd Rows 1-15: All Knit
Rows 2, 6, 8, 10, 14: All Purl
Rows 4 & 12: All Knit
Cast off after Row 15.

Are You Stressed by Your Boss?

Work getting you down? Feeling stressed out by your boss?
Then the Boss Voodoo doll is the perfect toy for you! This knitted stress reliever looks like Dilbert’s boss from the hilarious Dilbert comic strip and he can represent the boss that is getting you down at work. You can use pins to pierce him in different parts of his body. So maybe if you pin him in the head, your boss will mysteriously come down with a terrible headache that keeps him from work the next day. Have fun with it! Experiment! If you have friends that are always complaining about their awful boss, then this is the perfect gift for them!
Pattern for Voodoo Doll - Dilbert’s Boss is available in Ravelry: $3.59.

Knitting Stress Response

Doctors have finally realized what knitters always knew - knitting helps us to relax, puts us to the meditative state, which is so important for stress relieve and the optimum health.

Stress or “fight or flight” response is the body’s reaction to perceived threats. Adrenaline and cortisol hormones are released as a result of stress and the body responds by speeding up the heart rate, slowing digestion, and sending blood to major muscle groups. This mobilizes various systems within the body by giving them renewed bursts of energy which enable us to achieve what otherwise would not be possible.

In her book ”Smart Guide to Relieving Stress”, Carol Bodger defines stress as the body’s hormonal reaction to protect itself against real or perceived threats, the so called “fight or flight” response. She points out that this is a healthy body mechanism; this stress response can become overused leaving the body always on “alert”.

The stress response enables us to react in ways and on levels that would otherwise be impossible. Good stressors enable athletes to perform at their very best, and they also produce higher levels of motivation and achievement. When operating at an optimal stress level, we become more perceptive, more accurate in our judgment and all-around more productive.

Health - the Whole Picture

“Human beings are bodies, minds and spirits. Health necessary involves all of those components”,- says Dr. Weill in his bestselling book Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, Revised Edition: A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body's Natural Healing Power

Dr Weil points out that conventional medicine pays almost exclusive attention to our physical bodies and does not take into consideration our minds and our spirits. “In spite of a great deal of research demonstrating the causative role of stress in illness and the interplay of emotions and immunity, most medical researchers and practitioners assume that physical causes can explain all diseases and the physical treatments – drugs, usually – are the only ones that count”. Dr. Weill supports his observations on how far medicine of 21st century moved toward materialistic view of human beings with the change in the subject of psychiatry. The word “psychiatry” means “soul doctoring” in Greek, but nowadays it’s dominated by a biomedical model that that views all disturbed mental activity as a result of disturbed brain chemistry. As a result psychiatrists prescribe drugs as the only treatment worth using and they don’t consider alternative methods.

The 8 week program that Dr. Weill suggests in his book, heals the entire spectrum of health- mind, body and spirit. He addresses not only diets and exercise, but teaches the reader techniques that help neutralize stress and sooth emotional swings. He also suggests bringing in more beauty into our lives, which is good way to heal our spirit. Knitting works really well with Dr. Weill’s 8 weeks to Optimal Health program because it helps us relax and it brings beauty to our lives. Knitting helps us feel fulfilled because we are able to create something beautiful in the process and relieve stress as well.

Stress and Coronary Heart Disease

In his book Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, Revised Edition: A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body's Natural Healing Power, Dr.Weill gives an excellent example of why it’s so important to maintain good health in order to maintain a healthy mind and spirit- coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is one of the lead killers in this day and age but many of these deaths are preventable. Dr. Weill considers coronary heart disease a disease of life style. He points out that coronary heart disease practically does not exist in some societies where people live very differently from the way we do. Although elevated serum cholesterol is widely considered as the main risk factor for heart attacks, many doctors today question this because half of the people who have heart attacks have normal levels of serum cholesterol. Dr. Weill supports the theory that views chronic inflammation as the underlying problem.

Another risk factor is tendency of blood to clot. Even if a person’s coronary arteries are narrow, a heart attack cannot occur unless blood clots form within them. Dr. Weill suggests that there are many natural ways to thin blood, in particular reducing stress since it may affect the clotting system.

Dr. Weill further explains that even if the system that supplies blood to the heart muscle is temporarily interrupted, the consequences are not predictable: some people die, others recover. The determining factor may be the state of the heart and the body in general. If the sympathetic (arousing) branch of the nervous system dominates at the time of the attack, the heart muscle might be predisposed to chaotic movement that leads to death within minutes. If the parasympathetic (relaxing) nerves are dominant, then the heart muscle might be protected from catastrophe. When we are stressed, the sympathetic nerves dominate the body, but when we are relaxed the parasympathetic nerves are control.

“High stress levels are associated with increases in heart disease”, says Carol Bodger in her book ”Smart Guide to Relieving Stress”.

According to the Mayo Clinic Health Letter - English Edition, if hot reactors have acute levels of stress, this can be a huge problem.
“As a response to daily stress, hot reactors exhibit extreme increases in heart rate and blood pressure… When stress persists, increased blood clotting as a result of stress response can put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke”.

Stress and Inflammation

“When sustained to the point that it becomes chronic, or its assaults are at levels beyond the body capability to cope with it in a healthy way, the stress response meant to help us can do harm”.Smart Guide to Relieving Stress.

In his book Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, Revised Edition: A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body's Natural Healing Power, Dr. Weill explains the nature of inflammation. “Inflammation despite the discomfort it causes us is a natural component of the body’s healing response… intended to contain infection and injury and promote repair of damages tissue. But too much of a good thing is never good, and when inflammatory response becomes too intense or persists too long, inflammation itself produces a disease rather than healing. Similarities between stress and inflammation – healthy in optimal doses but harmful if overdosed – suggest similarities in treatment. For both inflammation and stress natural treatments are the best.

Knit an Eye Pillow to Relieve Stress

To knit this eye pillow you can use any soft yarn. We used cotton yarn leftovers, but you can use something fancy like Bernat bamboo yarn. We used single point bamboo needles size 5.
13" Single Point Bamboo Knitting Needles US Sizes 1-13

Cast on 38 stitches. Knit until you reach desired length.
Close 19 stitches then knit 4 more rows and close.

Sew a cotton bag and fill it in with organic rice or beans. Put it in the knitted pillow case.
You can hit the pillow in the microvawe - it will help you to relax.

Enjoy and relax!

Stress and Premature Aging

As we age, all our hormone levels decline except of levels of stress hormones, insulin and cortisol, which increase as we get older. “Both of these hormones are necessary for good health, but when their levels are elevated, they cause serious damage, including diseases such as diabetes and obesity.” – explains an anti-aging expert and one of the most famous dermatologists in the world, Dr. Nicholas Perricone in his book “7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity: The Miracle of Cellular Rejuvenation”

Stress hormones are important—they can give us the extra burst of energy needed to get out of the way of an oncoming automobile or other impending deadly threat. However, in today’s world, they are called into play too often. Today, our stressors are more often psychological than physical, but the production of stress hormones remains the same. They are not dissipated through fighting or fleeing; instead, they continue to circulate through the body, wreaking havoc on our cells. Dr. Perricone explains the exact mechanism of how stress accelerates the rate at which cells age and what you can do to slow down or even reverse premature aging.

In his newest book “Ageless Face, Ageless Mind: Erase Wrinkles and Rejuvenate the Brain” Dr. Perricone shares important new medical findings that can affect our looks, health and memory. He reveals that through diet, supplements, and cutting-edge therapies based on the latest groundbreaking information, we can rebuild our bodies and rejuvenate our minds.

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... Our Knitkinz

Our good anti-stress idea is knitting toys. Now we have 18 Big Knitkinz Animals, 5 Mini Knitkinz Animals and 4 Knitkinz Animals for Your Office.
Knitkinz animals have sweaters, pants, skirts and furniture.
Kids love knitted toys; many adults love them too. We know that Australian knitters send Knitkinz toys to children via Word Vision. We sent some our Knitkinz toys to ill children.
Caring about kids, your relatives, your friends is so good for your stress relief.

Knitvana Tea Cozy Patterns

Our first stress relief knitting was Lizzy the Cow Tea Cozy: it was a lot of fun to knit it. Also Lizzy the Cow became the mascot of this knitting website “Knitvana – Your Refuge to knitting from daily stress”
If you love knitted animals toys, please look at our animals sets - Knitkinz and Tea Cozies
We have: Two Cats, Two Dogs, Two Pigs, Two Monkeys, Two Bears, Two Hippos and of course we have Two Cows!
We knitted several Tea Cozies. Our friends love to get them as presents and cover their teapots to make a good tea which helps them to relax.

Read more about health benefits of tea.

Visit Knitvana Pattern Store on Ravelry