Sewing as a Type of Stress-Relief Therapy

Many of us can feel overwhelmed by the constant pressures of the digital world. Endlessly scrolling through social media, responding to emails, and checking applications, can make it difficult to switch off.

Multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression, and even self-harm.

Popular therapy for this includes mindful techniques. Knitting and sewing are becoming more widely recognized as effective treatments for stress, anxiety, and depression.

So, if you have been stressed or frustrated and need to cool down and find your zen again, sewing is a creative outlet, and it is more than that. The concentration of this demand not only helps to calm the mind but learning to repair clothing helps tackle the environmental effects of fast fashion, too.

Science backs up the relief you feel as you start sewing, and you have probably been enjoying them without even realizing it. 

Here are a few reasons why sewing makes us feel better and a great hobby, especially if you are having trouble keeping a balanced mind.

An effective coping strategy

A smiling dressmaker

If you struggle with stress, an unbalanced lifestyle, a lack of motivation, or depression, sewing might be a highly effective coping mechanism. It can give a sense of achievement, self-assurance, and present-moment awareness. It is a healthy way of distraction and you can make it as easy or complicated as you like or can manage at the time. It is a step-by-step process where you can pause anytime without the frustrating feeling.

Moreover, meeting new people in the sewing community is a great help to keep a healthy balance in life. You can even talk to others who sew online if you don’t feel like going out or find it hard to meet new people. Whatever your needs are, there is a way to share your passion with others. Talking to like-minded people can be very motivating and fulfilling.


A woman in pink top sewing

Doing one thing at a time is the idea of mindfulness, which is gaining popularity as a self-help and coping strategy. It is being concentrated on one thing alone and experiencing it with all your senses.  

Engaging in a mindful activity like sewing can help you pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, which can help you become calm and relaxed. Sewing is calming and can lead to a more steady heart rate, lower blood pressure, and produce less perspiration. Being in the moment helps to reduce stress and negative thoughts. 

Creating something with your own hands provides a sense of accomplishment that can boost mental health. And if your thoughts still keep running all over the place, try intentionally focusing on your senses. Focus on the sound of your sewing machine, the scissors cutting, or the feeling of the fabric between your fingers. Enjoy the moment to the fullest by taking it all in.

A distraction from negative thoughts

A group of people having a conversation while looking at the sewing machine

Sewing keeps the mind healthy and active so that your mind can stay sharper for longer. The creative thinking required during sewing stimulates the development of new brain cells.

When crafting, you are giving your mind a break. James McIntosh began to knit when he was diagnosed with moderately severe depressive episodes. Knit and Nibble, a book he recently wrote, addresses knitting, cuisine, and mindfulness.

“I realized that knitting was a form of mindfulness, which I call ‘knititation’. I started to get better by practicing knititation, I chose a life in color,” he says. 

“I noticed that each stitch became a breath, each breath a feeling, and the stitch was a tangible sign that my feelings were worth something, that I was worth something,” added McIntosh.

A creative sense of achievement

The dress in my collection

Creating something with your hands provides a sense of accomplishment that can improve mental wellness. Finishing a project feels like a great accomplishment. It is a rewarding experience to hold or even wear something you created with your own hands from nothing. A sense of accomplishment is helpful for our self-esteem.

Also, you keep improving and learning new skills while working on a project. You are developing effective problem-solving strategies. You have an opportunity to come up with incredible creativity. Sewing gives you reasons to feel proud of yourself and like yourself better.

“Making clothes together in our studio makes us feel complete. We probably sound like a group of grannies in a knitting circle, but it is the truth, and it gives us some control over our visual identity,” says Chris Martin, a singer and songwriter.

Allowing yourself some me-time

A woman in a black sweater sitting at a table

Sewing is a great way to spend time with yourself and do something for yourself. Taking time for yourself is a necessity. We all need to focus on ourselves every once in a while to prevent ourselves from burning out. 

Did you know that being overworked is the main cause of burnout? Millions of individuals die each year because of working too many hours, likely because doing so causes people to lose weight, experience body pain, exhaustion, high cortisol levels, sleep loss, and other problems.

Being engaged in sewing helps people get into a groove. It is because sewing increases dopamine which can make you feel happy or interested in something leading to increased speed and productivity levels.

Remember, you deserve to allow yourself to be immersed in something you do for fun, simply because you are worth it.

Reducing screen time to prevent sensory overload

Adorable female child standing by the window and smiling

Smartphones, laptops, and tablets have become part of our lives, with many hours spent on them. Spending time watching TV or lying on the sofa with a laptop can lead to sensory overload, making it difficult to focus on other activities. Sensory overload happens when you’re getting more input from your five senses than your brain can absorb and process. Social media can also contribute to this overload, causing a vicious cycle of being glued to screens and feeling unable to do anything else.

Some people may experience unrest, dissatisfaction, and exhaustion as a result of this, especially if you are a results-oriented individual. Ever felt as though the day was a complete waste of time? Can’t recall your weekend activities? Despite having had two days off, were you fatigued when you arrived at work on Monday?

When you are sewing, you are doing something useful with your free time while giving your mind a chance to unwind and reset. You leave your happy, healthy little bubble with a sense of satisfaction and success.

Improving Body Image & Increasing Self-confidence

A woman standing in front of a camera holding dress

When you start sewing and get to know others who sew, you realize that almost no one has a perfect body. Everyone has to make adjustments. You can create your sense of identity and style through sewing. You can create something unique. 

Moreover, if you sew something that fits well, you will start wearing your clothes with greater confidence. Also, you will undoubtedly see improvements in your patience and attention to detail because sewing involves a lot of both.

Furthermore, sharing your creations on social media provides exposure while helping to build pride in your work.

In conclusion, finding a creative outlet such as sewing to express yourself and getting away from worries is good for the mind, body, and soul.